Since it opened, it's fair to say Wynyard Quarter has been on the receiving end of generally positive feedback — not the most common of occurrences when it comes to Auckland urban planning projects. It was even lauded with praise at last night’s Auckland Architecture Awards for its win in the Planning and Urban Design category, described by judges as the “gatekeeper for reconnecting Auckland city to its beloved harbour in a high-quality, sustainable and public-focussed way”. But news of changes to the development under the Draft Auckland Plan, including replacing the children’s playground with a towerblock, has left a sour taste in the mouths of many, including Auckland's business association, Heart of the City.
The association said that under the Draft Auckland Plan, the whole area will be zoned to have four-storey buildings.
Heart of the City said that among the changes proposed in the plan is the establishment of four-storey buildings on the children’s playground and public areas, as well as more shops, offices and apartments to the north.
“There is simply too much development planned for the area,” said the organisation on its website.
Indeed some of the changes might seem at odds with a statement in the draft city plan that states the development of Wynyard Quarter will create “strong vibrant and engaged communities and a high quality network of parks and community facilities”.
Heart of the City has launched a campaign called ‘We've only just got it, lets not lose it’, whereby people can read about some of the proposed changes to the area and submit their responses.
With submissions for the Draft City Plan closing soon on October 25, the organisation is mindful that time is running out.
“We want to show the Auckland Council that the people of this city value their waterfront and don’t want it closed off. We also want to show that we do care about the other issues we have highlighted as being critical to the future of Auckland.”
Along with the planned office buildings, shops and apartments, the organisation says plans are afoot to reclaim parts of the port to make way for a massive upswing in the number of container processing, from 80,000 now to four million by 2040.
But the organisation is championing some of the proposed changes in the plan, like a rail tunnel from Britomart that goes underneath the CBD to connect with the western line, with underground stations in Aotea Square, Karangahape Road and Newton.
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