With the launch of our Draft Silverdale Centre Plan recently for public feedback the need for Penlink is even more apparent than ever.
While Penlink will most definitely benefit both the people and the development of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, it will finally allow Silverdale to develop to its full potential.
Silverdale desperately needs to be better connected. Vital links like the extension of East Coast Road to Curley Avenue must happen. The new Park and Ride station which is to be funded in Auckland Council’s Accelerated Transport Programme, which was adopted last week, must also happen with urgency.
Over the next decade more than 10,000 homes and 40,000 jobs are planned in Silverdale alone. While housing and retail development has started, little of the land zoned for employment has been developed. Instead developers are seeking to develop some of it as residential citing the difficulty of businesses accessing the congested roading network as one of the reasons residential is preferred.
One recent planning report I saw, which was trying to justify using business zoned land for housing, suggested that residential development created 50 percent less loading on roading infrastructure than business does. However it failed to take into account that residential development traffic movements were particularly high at morning and afternoon peak times and are more likely to place an extreme load at these times on an already heavily congested Hibiscus Coast Highway than businesses would.
The most important point is that the increasing volumes of traffic congesting the Hibiscus Coast Highway need to be substantially reduced not increased, to allow us to unlock and develop the quality employment zoned land that Silverdale has to offer. This development is vital to Silverdale, the Hibiscus Coast and surrounding areas. Rather than being forced into longer and longer commutes we need to be developing more local employment. We will only get one chance to do this properly before the land is consumed with housing. Developers need to be encouraged to develop their business zoned land to provide these quality employment options.
The best way we can make this happen and enable Silverdale to thrive as a vital and viable centre, is for the council to give the development community more certainty and relieve the congestion by fast tracking the development of Penlink.