Published 30 October 2005
Eden/Albert Community Board chairman Lindsey Rea has succeeded in getting an Auckland City Council committee â€“ one step up the chain â€“ to examine some unusual circumstances relating to intensification of Kingsland.
Ms Rea spoke to the council’s planning & regulatory committee on 13 October (a meeting I didn’t attend) after compiling a report for the community board called Kingsland intensification & stadium development consultation.
Her recommendations were to:
either reclassify Kingsland as a growth area or
introduce a special consultation process similar to those in growth areas, to enable local residents & businesspeople to help plan to best accommodate the area’s growth & change.
The council committee will get a staff report done on the issues Ms Rea has raised.
Suburb already at 2050 density target
The key point about Kingsland is that overall housing density across the western strategic growth management area was to be halved from 1:700mÂ² – but Kingsland started out at that ratio.
Another aspect of Kingsland is its proximity to Eden Park â€“ and the crucial question of what will happen to the test rugby & cricket ground. For the park to develop as an internationally competitive venue it will need to bite into the surrounding residential 1 land.
Ms Rea said in her report Kingsland was originally scheduled for intensification as one of the strategic development areas under the council’s Liveable communities strategy, but the previous council changed its classification to make it an area of stability (as distinguished from areas of change), with growth being accommodated within existing zoning.
“The result is that Kingsland, which is already quite dense because of the small sections in most of the residential 1 zoning, is facing a considerable increase in intensification without the community involvement needed to mitigate the adverse effects of this growth.
“In addition, the redevelopment & expansion of Eden Park and the council’s stated support for the stadium being able to compete for international sporting events, requires consideration of infrastructure needed to support such bids.”
Historic growth spurts were related to public transport
Ms Rea said Kingsland had had 2 early transport-related growth spurts, the first when stations were established there and at Mt Eden & Morningside after opening of the Auckland-Helensville train line in 1880, when subdivisions were built on the north-facing slopes from the New North Rd ridge. The other was when the electric tram reached Kingsland, in 1903, with a terminus at Pages Stores in the Kingsland shopping centre.
Those original subdivisions, for working-class housing, had sections of about 350mÂ² laid out in a regular structure, with access to the transport routes along the ridgelines.
But by the 1970s “the government was practically paying people to live there. Kingsland was a â€˜central home improvement area’ to encourage first-home owners to do up the old housing stock with Housing Corp mortgages.”
After the North-western Motorway was opened in 1980 there was a new boom in housing values and Kingsland became a “little Ponsonby”, the shopping centre was revitalised and there was an influx of good, well priced ethnic restaurants. The end of the area’s “dry” zoning in 1998 brought another change.
In the late 1990s apartments started to be built in the business 4-zoned areas which extended for a block on either side of New North Rd, beginning at Eden Terrace & Newton.
Ms Rea said the average lot size across most o the Kingsland area was 330-400mÂ², giving a net density over 25 units/ha. Across the western strategic management area the density was 1:700mÂ² across both residential & business zones, with a 2050 target of 1:350mÂ², or 29 units/ha.
“Areas of change are subject to consultation processes laid out in the growth management strategy of December 2003. This enables the residents & business people of an area to contribute their expertise to identify the places within the area which would be best suited to rezoning to accommodate a higher density of living. The aim is to develop a shared vision of the resources & community infrastructure necessary to support growth.
“Areas of stability are expected to grow within the limits of current district plan provisions.”
Kingsland growth won’t stop, so change to allow consultation needed
Ms Rea said Kingsland would continue to experience growth for a number of reasons, apart from the general growth throughout the city, among them:
rezoning of much of the business 4 zone to mixed use in the 2002 strategic plan review
double-tracking of the western rail line and redevelopment of the station & adjoining plaza area
probably diversion of much of the heavy rail from the western line when the Avondale-Southdown line is built along with State Highway 20
development of the bus priority schemes along Dominion Rd and the possible development of light rail
development of non-permanent accommodation at Bond St & New North Rd
development of educational establishments such as Digitrain, Peter Minturn Jewellery Training and an English language school on New North Rd, and
continuous redevelopment of Eden Park and the pressure to expand the stadium.
Plan change 71, which divided business 4 land between business and the new mixed-use zone which would allow residential development, identified a strip of land in Kingsland which became mixed-use, one block each side of New North Rd. Apartments were already being built in Kingsland, mainly on Aitken Terrace, an 83-unit development with ground-floor shops was completed this year and a 40-unit development was due to start.
“Just up the road in Newton & Eden Terrace there is a concentration of such developments. It is very likely that this will spread down New North Rd and link up with the Kingsland developments.”
Eden Park as international stadium far more than a footy ground
Eden Park is another challenge in itself: “Eden Park, like other sporting stadia worldwide, is developing into a multi-use entertainment centre. The ASB Stand has Auckland’s largest functions centre and there are plans for the extensive redevelopment of the western part of the stadium on Sandringham Rd, as well as the possibility of additional development if New Zealand should host the World Cup. There is also pressure to provide better access from the rail station to the park.”
Ms Rea said the time was approaching when decisions would have to be made about infrastructure needed to support the stadium: “If Eden Park is going to be developed to seat the 55,000 required to host international events such as the World Cup, it cannot provide the amenities needed to support these numbers within its own boundaries.
“Internationally competitive stadia have hotels & other complementary venues associated with them, as well as extensive public transport connections. This is not possible with the residential 1 zoning surrounding the park. Decisions will have to be made about the appropriateness of some of the surrounding zoning if Eden Park is going to continue to develop on this site.”
11 October 2005: Kingsland plaza opened
25 September 2005: 3-storey commercial block approved for Kingsland
22 May 2005: Revamped Kingsland station opens
22 May 2005: ARC pushes for “optimum redevelopment” at Avondale
2 December 2004: Councillors put boot into gaffe-laden Eden Park bridge idea
5 September 2004: Council heads to election notifying 6 urban design plan changes
25 March 2004: Kingsland shops & commercial building sell
3 August 2002: Update: New Kingsland cafÃ©