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Auckland growth report set for release

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">The Auckland Council will on Wednesday reveal the advice it has been given about the city's future planning rulebook: the Unitary Plan.</span> © Getty Images The Auckland Council will on Wednesday reveal the advice it has been given about the city's future planning rulebook: the Unitary Plan. The future shape and density of Auckland is set to be revealed as the council unveils the advice it has been given for the city's masterplan.

A specialist independent panel last week handed Auckland Council staff tens of thousands of pages of recommendations for the city's Unitary Plan.

The plan will define what can be built, and where, for at least a decade and will replace all eight of Auckland's pre-super city council planning rulebooks, some of which are now more than a decade out of date.

Auckland Council officials have since Friday been poring over the report from an independent panel and will on Wednesday afternoon deliver their summary to the public.

Councillors will debate the recommendations from August 10 to August 18 and announce whether they have accepted the report the following day.

READ MORE: Ten things to know about Auckland's Unitary Plan

Auckland's future housing density rules are expected be among the more contentious points in the report.

Councillors last year rejected their own planners' advice to increase density in the city's leafy inner suburbs amid protests from some homeowners.

But the government has already warned that if the council fails to deliver sufficient measures to free up more land and allow for higher density housing, it could step in to do it itself.

Other topics covered by the plan will include changes to Auckland's urban limits, rules around maintaining the marine environment and planning guidelines for rural areas.

Although the panel's report is a set of "recommendations", rejecting major topics could leave Auckland without any working plan, council officials have warned.

The independent panel heard 13,000 public submissions over 249 days of hearings to create its report.

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