Auckland housing project given the green light
A 1500-home construction project in a former Auckland quarry will now go ahead following years of opposition.
The $1.2 billion redevelopment of the Three Kings site was confirmed by the government and other parties on Wednesday.
Community consultation on the redevelopment began in 2008 but amid a housing crisis in the country's biggest city it became mired in court cases. The government got involved last year.
Two groups, the South Epsom Planning Group and Three Kings United Group, have now come to an agreement, where construction firm Fletcher Building will comply with "several key elements" of an Environment Court decision.
"Today's agreement includes for up to four metres of additional fill in the former quarry and increased height in the apartment buildings along Mount Eden Road," said Fletcher's Steve Evans.
"It means that all appeals will be withdrawn, and construction can finally begin."
The first home are expected to be ready in 2019.
In an unusual move, Environment Minister Nick Smith and Housing NZ joined legal proceedings in February last year to support Auckland Council and Fletcher because of the size and significance of the project.
Dr Smith blamed more than 100 consultation meetings and the court cases for delaying the project.
"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."