The proposed redevelopment of Silverdale and Dairy Flat as one of Auckland’s future industrial hubs has been earmarked in a new plan by the Auckland Council.
And the public is being asked for their feedback on the proposal. The Auckland Council says with thousands more homes planned for the city’s northern areas over the next 10-20 years it also has to plan for job growth to match the needs of new communities.
Under the council’s Draft Silverdale West Dairy Flat Industrial Area Structure Plan it plans to zone sufficient land to provide up to 10,000 jobs for light industry and business development. It says this will enable people to both live and work locally. The structure plan states:
“The Wainui Silverdale Dairy Flat area will become one of Auckland’s key growth areas in the next 30 years, and that growth will require significant new provision of business land and other retail and services space to accommodate employment and meet the future needs of the community.
“The Silverdale West Dairy Flat area will become the focus for future light industry growth in the urban north due to the extensive future urban area identified in the area and the imminent exhaustion of light industry zoned supply in the North Shore, Silverdale and the Highgate Business Park.”
The report says it’s the most suitable area for light industrial development in the northern part of the city that’s still relatively close to urban Auckland.
“The land is identified for industrial activity because of its proximity to an existing motorway interchange at Silverdale and the existing Silverdale industrial area, it is relatively flat and the southern area is subject to adverse effects from the adjoining North Shore Airport which renders it unsuitable for residential or other more intensive uses.”
Hibiscus and Bay Local Board chairwoman Julia Parfitt says the proposed redevelopment is needed to address Auckland’s growth over the next 30 years.
“We must strive to provide employment close to where people live” Parfitt says. “Long commutes place a huge, unproductive strain on both people's quality of life and our transport infrastructure."
And she says giving people who live in the area the option of working nearby is crucial to that.
But Auckland councillor Wayne Walker says while he understands the potential for growth in the area, it’s important that the council gets the planning right.
“It is vitally important that with any development we maintain environmental safeguards to protect our significant ecological areas, particularly our local streams and rivers.”
Walker says the area proposed will feed into the nearby Okura and Weiti Rivers. He says the Okura River links up with the Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve which has already been the subject of legal battles over the affect development has had on the area.
“The other concern I have is around transport. I think everybody knows that the motorway is getting busier and busier on the North Shore and that’s going to become more of a bottle neck. The Park and Ride at Silverdale is bursting at the seams and it’s the same at Albany.”
He says while the development is designed to allow people who live in the area greater employment opportunities, it will still generate traffic and commuters from other areas.
“So we need to make sure everything we do is done well and ahead of time. That’s not to say we can’t sort a number of these things out, but I want to make sure they are sorted out in advance.”
The plan is open for public consultation until 28 April and also looks at the environmental impact, essential transport needs, including public transport, cycleways and walkways and motorway connections.