Beachlands development intensity could be beefed up

The rural South Auckland community of Beachlands, population 3400, could soon expand if Manukau City Council's ambitious plans for a new town centre and intensified residential development are accepted.In a proposal that has just been put to the public for submissions, the council has said that it wants to allow a further 500 homes and commercial area to be built at Beachlands.Its Beachlands Village: New Avenues document details that Manukau City Council would like to see a new town centre for the quiet area.

The rural South Auckland community of Beachlands, population 3400, could soon expand if Manukau City Council’s ambitious plans for a new town centre and intensified residential development are accepted.

In a proposal that has just been put to the public for submissions, the council has said that it wants to allow a further 500 homes and commercial area to be built at Beachlands.

Its Beachlands Village: New Avenues document details that Manukau City Council would like to see a new town centre for the quiet area.

Development has been active at Beachlands, with a Four Square supermarket recently introduced and walking tracks built along the waterfront stretching to nearby Te Puru and Maraetai.

But Manukau City Council’s new plan would see the seaside region grow dramatically.

“One of the main aims is to make sure that any future development is consistent with the original character of the area,” the proposal said, trying to reassure locals.

The area’s original character of small baches on large sections has already been stripped away, with dozens of large new homes built in close proximity to each other  and many basic houses having been redeveloped.

The new structure plan outlines an extension of Beachlands across 125ha of rural land to the South.

There would be three new avenues built, which the council said “would provide long views along roads to the sea and maintain the character of the original Beachlands settlement.”

Although most residents do most of their shopping at Botany and Howick, a 15 minute drive away, council said the population growth anticipated for Beachlands provides significant capacity for additional retail in Beachlands in the future.

At the corner of Beachlands Rd and Whitford-Maraetai Rd, the council proposes a new commercial business and retail area “sympathetic to” the character of the area.

The council plans to add improved public space, with more walkways proposed to be built between the Auckland CBD-link ferry terminal at nearby Pine Harbour Marina and Beachlands.

Concern about the intensity of existing development has already been identified by council in Beachlands. “The beach lifestyle is valued by the community as is the out of city feeling,” the council’s proposal said.

Submissions close on February 15.

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