The concept of Community Led Planning has been applied successfully in a number of areas of Auckland in recent years. Examples include Milford and Kumeu. In every case, the success of the concept planning is the result of contribution by all key stakeholder groups, such as community individuals and organisations, local businesses, Local Board and Council organisations.
The Birkenhead Residents Association has considered taking a lead in this process for Birkenhead and feels that the timing is appropriate in light of (a) the recent decisions on the Auckland Unitary Plan and (b) potential intensification by property owners (such as NZRPG and other property owners in Highbury) in coming years.
This document summarises the intent of the planning and the proposed approach to doing it. It is intended to ensure understanding; providing a basis for discussion and engagement with other key stakeholders.
Purpose of Neighbourhood Concept Planning
The primary purpose of this process is to attain a ‘balanced and shared Birkenhead vision’ from various stakeholders in the community.
This vision will explore all issues that impact whether people have a positive experience of living, visiting, shopping and working in the neighbourhood. Issues covered would include (but not be limited to) streetscape, sunlight, heritage, quality built environment, pedestrian access, environment, facilities and public space.
A report will be produced that captures the vision and can be used as a working reference. The intent of the report is to help guide Developers, Auckland Council and its CCOs and Community in working together to achieve best outcomes for all parties.
Some intensification is inevitable in Birkenhead and this planning process is intended to help Developers achieve intensification in a way that best meets community aspirations and is, therefore, more attractive for buyers.
Scope of Birkenhead Plan
The Birkenhead Residents Association has a wide membership and takes an interest in local planning matters for the area south and east of Birkdale, south of Glenfield and west of Northcote.
In addition to considering residential and recreational land, the scope of the community led planning exercise proposed is intended to focus on the wider Birkenhead community, including:
- The Birkenhead /Highbury Town Centre
- Chelsea Refinery land and surrounding reserve
- Chatswood commercial area
- War Memorial Park
- The shopping and business areas along Hinemoa St and our “maritime gateway” at Birkenhead Wharf.
The proposed steps are, in summary:
- Establish working team: formation of a core project team, including specialist architecture/urban planning and research specialists
- Develop Survey: develop a questionnaire to seek input from a wider community base about the issues; what matters most and what they would like to see as general principles reflected in a Birkenhead Neighbourhood Plan
- Identify and engage stakeholders: hold various discussions with key groups; invite cross-representational stakeholder groups to a community forum on their vision for Birkenhead; use this as a reference for finalising the survey
- Run survey: set up, launch and monitor survey responses
- Analysis: review findings of the survey and prepare outline report of issues
- Public Forums: run further stakeholder and public meetings for discussion and feedback on survey findings
- Report: develop a report on the findings and vision for Birkenhead
- Discussions: Socialise the report and negotiate with key stakeholders (e.g. KLB, Auckland Council, Property owners) for the key concepts to be used as a guide and reference point for all future planning and development, such as a Kaipatiki Area Plan.
The aim is to complete the survey by the end of November 2016, with the resultant analysis and discussions taking place in the first quarter of 2017.
The key stakeholder groups who will be invited to participate include:
- Kaipatiki Local Board
- Auckland Council planners and other groups
- Auckland Transport, ATEED and Panuku
- Birkenhead Town Centre Association and other representatives of the business community
- Birkenhead Primary School, Chelsea Primary, Northcote College and other schools
- Mana Whenua
- Large property owners, eg NZ Retail Property Group (owners of Highbury Mall)
- Birkenhead Bowling Club and other sports clubs in Birkenhead Domain
- BRA Committee and members
- Sports and social clubs
- Community houses
- Community development groups(e.g, Raeburn House, Birkenhead Licensing Trust)
- Bush restoration groups
- General public and residents
These organisations ensure representation of diverse age and ethnic groups.
The survey and public meetings will seek to canvass input from as many residents and community members as possible. Follow this project the Birkenhead Residents Association Facebook page.