Sunday, April 14, 2024

More housing projects fast-tracked

Three new residential housing projects have been approved for consideration under the fast-track consenting process, the Government announced today.

“These projects are in places where houses are needed and, if they are consented, these developments will create 891 new homes and 912 extra jobs,” said Environment Minister, David Parker.

The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 is a key part of the Government’s plan to accelerate the economic recovery, speed up some infrastructure projects and boost jobs.

The three projects approved under the fast-track referral process today are:

  • Glenpanel, Ladies Mile – Te Pūtahi project in Lake Hayes, Queenstown, that will redevelop a site creating up to 748 more homes. The project will include a park-and-ride facility to promote public transport use, and potentially a new school. If consented, the project will create up to 313 jobs.
  • Kepa Road Apartments residential development in Kohimarama, Auckland that will see the development of 58 homes in two buildings, up to seven storeys high. The project is estimated to create 199 jobs.
  • Wellsford North project in north Auckland a medium-density subdivision in north Auckland that will enable construction of approximately 85 homes residential units and create 400 jobs.

The three new projects bring the total of projects approved for fast-track consenting to 56, the Minister said.

To improve the resource management system, the Government is also repealing the Resource Management Act 1991 and replacing it with two new Acts, the Spatial Planning Act and the Natural and Built Environments that will better enable infrastructure and homes to be built while also protecting the environment.

Minister Parker said the RMA takes too long, costs too much and hasn’t provided for development or housing where needed.

“The Infrastructure Commission have reported that infrastructure developers are collectively spending $1.29 billion annually on resource consent processes. This represents 5.5 per cent of total project costs,” he said.

“That puts New Zealand at the upper end of approval costs, which are 0.1 to 5 per cent in the UK and the European Union.

“The SPA and NBA will better enable infrastructure development by providing national direction on infrastructure, that is being developed by the Infrastructure Commission, simplifying the consenting and designation processes, and carrying forward into the new system a process similar to fast-track consenting for certain infrastructure projects,” said Mr Parker.

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