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Auckland Unitary Plan passes

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/08/2016

Auckland Council has passed the city's long-term planning rulebook.

After just fours days of debate, councillors on Monday rubber stamped the last parts of the Unitary Plan - which will dictate what can be built in Auckland for at least a decade and could dramatically change the city's density and shape.

Environment Minister Nick Smith welcomed the council's decision.

"The government has always said that council rules which have blocked new housing developments are at the core of the city's housing problems," he said.

"This new plan is at the heart of the long-term solution."

The 7000-page plan will see intensification and expanding of the city to make room for 420,000 new homes and replaces all of Auckland's various pre-super-city planning guides - some of which were more than a decade out of date.

The plan also covers everything from heritage rules and environmental protections to setting minimum apartment sizes, fence heights and which areas on the city's fringes will be developed in the future.

The council will officially notify the public on Friday, with a 20-day appeal period to run until September 16.

The council's sign-off ends four years of debate, which included two years of hearings by an independent specialist panel and earlier fierce division over intensification in Auckland's leafy suburbs.

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