Crown land development parcels revealed

Four blocks of surplus Auckland Crown land that will be offered up to developers have been identified by the government.

Monday, June 1st 2015, 12:00AM

by Miriam Bell

The four sites, which amount to 30 hectares of land, are in Massey East, Manukau, Avondale and Hobsonville.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said that, in total, the sites could potentially fit 600 homes – a portion of which would have to be priced as starter homes.

The most advanced site is the Massey East site, which is at the corner of Moire and Granville Roads and totals 9.5 hectares.

It is a Ministry of Education site, which was set aside for a new high school that was subsequently built elsewhere.

The government has authorised Smith’s Ministry to purchase it for housing purposes under the Housing Act 1955.

Smith said the site, which has capacity for about 200 homes, is close to the motorway, is located on major bus routes and has amenities like parks, schools and a major shopping centre.

“It already has access to water and waste infrastructure – meaning housing development will be able to proceed more quickly.”

Smith aims to have a development agreement signed for this first parcel of land before the end of October, earthworks started over summer and the first homes completed in late 2016.

The other three sites, which could potentially fit about 400 homes, are on NZTA-owned land and are currently being considered for purchase under the Housing Act.

The commercial viability of these sites relative to their zoning and infrastructure requirements will next be assessed.

Under the government’s new initiative, officials are investigating further Crown owned sites, which have been identified as surplus to requirements, to see if they are suitable for housing.

Around 500 hectares of land around Auckland have been identified, but Smith would not reveal the location of the other 470 hectares as infrastructure and zoning checks are still underway.

Smith said the government will take an approach similar to that which they have used in Christchurch, whereby they will partner with the private sector to deliver houses.

In Christchurch, part of the development agreement specified that a proportion – ranging from 20 to 38 percent – of the houses should be priced as starter homes.

They will be looking to include a similar condition in agreements made under this new initiative, with the proportion to be determined through negotiations on a case-by-case basis, Smith said.

“Our initiative is about boosting not just supply, but also ensuring more homes are built which are suitable for first home buyers.”

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