On Friday we blogged about development opportunities under the recently announced 2015 budget. The Government’s plans to make several hundred hectares of Crown-owned land in Auckland available for development has proved to be a hot button issue – the Labour Party has come out swinging, stating that the Government has not done its homework and only a quarter of the 500 hectares identified by the Government may be suitable for building on.
In particular, housing spokesperson Phil Twyford refers to tracts of land containing pylons, a cemetery, and a substation that exploded one year ago.
While Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith agrees a large amount of work needs to be done to check which sites are viable, he strongly rejects claims that most of the Crown-owned sites are unusable, stating that of the 150,000 hectares of public land in Auckland, he is confident that 500 hectares will be identified for development. The first batch of development sites are due to be announced on Friday.
When asked if he would like to live next to a sub-station, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English joked ‘I presume it’s not always exploding.’
Jokes aside, as outlined in Friday’s blog post, there is still no word as to whether there are plans to regulate the affordability of the proposed development, or any control on purchasers and ownership.