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Massive apartment block development now allowed under Unitary Plan

Flagstaff Team

On the rise… An artist’s impression of what the apartment blocks at Smales Farm might look like

One of the largest residential developments proposed for the North Shore has been given zoning permission.

Amendments to the Smales 1 Precinct Zone now allow up to 1380 residential dwellings in apartment blocks up to 123m high on the 10.8 hectare Smales Farm site.

The changes were approved by Auckland Council’s planning committee early this month. Smales Farm was previously zoned solely as a business park, with no residential development allowed.

Under the changes, buildings towards the eastern side of the site, abutting Taharoto Rd and parts of Shakespeare and Northcote Rds, are restricted to 5 m. Higher building heights are allowed on the rest of the site, much of which overlooks the Northern Motorway.

“Further office, commercial and community activities would also be enabled, primarily centred on a pedestrian plaza with direct links to the adjoining Smales Farm bus station,” a council report says.

The tallest building on the North Shore is the Sentinel building in Takapuna at 30 storeys and 150m high.

Smales Farm owner Northcote RD1 Holdings applied to Auckland Council to change the Auckland Unitary Plan to allow the development to go ahead.

The new mixed-use transit zone, to allow residential development fits in with Unitary Plan goals to encourage housing around transport nodes. The North Shore Hospital buildings across the road from Smales Farm are up to 65m in height.

The Observer sought comment from Smales Farm on the status of the project now – when it would start and various time lines. However management did not return calls prior to our deadline.

This article originally appeared in the 30 October 2020 edition of the Rangitoto Observer.

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