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An agreement between appellant parties for a development of up to 1500 homes at Auckland’s Three Kings, proposed by owners Fletcher Residential, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.

“This agreement is great news for Auckland. It will provide up to 1500 homes close to the city on well-established transport links. It will transform the eyesore of a derelict quarry into a modern, integrated, inner-city community with a town centre, high-quality public spaces and playing fields. The $1.2 billion investment will provide hundreds of jobs and help maintain the momentum of Auckland’s largest-ever building boom.”

Dr Smith joined the proceedings over the Three Kings development in February last year out of concern that the urgent need for increased housing supply in the inner city was not being given sufficient weight and that resolution of the local issues was taking too long.

“A central part of Auckland’s housing solution is large scale inner city redevelopment projects like Fletcher Residential’s project for the Three Kings quarry. These projects offer the advantage over green fields developments on the city outskirts of putting less pressure on infrastructure.

“It is also possible to achieve better urban design than with many smaller one-off intensification projects adding multiple homes on to a single section. The Government is taking the lead with these large-scale urban development projects with Hobsonville, Tamaki and Northcote, but we also need private sector initiatives like Three Kings to meet future demand.

“Fletcher Residential has shown their capacity to build quality intensive housing on the adjacent 1.4 hectare Special Housing Area, where work is well advanced on 99 homes. I welcome their plans to advance this project, with earthworks next summer and the first homes being completed in 2019.

“This significant development was proposed more than five years ago and has been subject to over 100 consultation meetings and dozens of High Court, Environment Court and commissioner hearings. These types of delays are at the core of Auckland’s housing woes in that the building sector is not able to respond more quickly to changes in population. The Government is developing new urban development legislation to streamline these processes for projects of this type in the future.”

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