The Government’s $500million plan to upgrade and develop what is forecast to be one of Auckland’s busiest arterial routes has spurred the sale of a substantial and strategic block of residential development land adjacent to the new roading network.
The Government’s Auckland Transport Alignment Project document released last month highlighted the commitment to expand the Mill Road corridor connecting Manukau and Drury to the Southern Motorway.
The four-lane link will connect future residential development in the southern parts of Auckland’s urban boundaries, with employment hubs in the north – particularly around Manukau. The major road-widening project will include bus lanes, cycle lanes, walking paths, and the restoration of flora and fauna wetlands along its periphery.
In announcing the budget support for the project, Transport and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said; “Even with the public transport network absorbing around 20 percent of new trips and the Southern Motorway widening, major forecast increases in car travel are expected to create chokepoints on roads around Papakura and Drury unless there is investment in the Mill Road corridor.”
“It is clear that some improvements need to be made along the Mill Road corridor over the next decade to improve the resilience of Auckland’s transport system and to support growth areas along the route,” Twyford said.
Following the announcement of the half-a-billion dollar infrastructure project, a 27 hectare block of land immediately adjacent to Mill Road has been placed on the market for sale.
The land had historically been zoned for rural use – sustaining a cattle finishing farm, but was rezoned for future urban use under the now-operative Auckland Council Unitary Plan.
The flat terrain freehold block – bordered by Wastney Road, Ranfurly Road, Alfriston Road and Mill Road – is being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Counties, with tenders closing at 4pm on May 31.
Salesperson Peter Sullivan said the Alfriston block was located less than two kilometres from State Highway 1, in what would be one of Auckland’s fastest growing urban areas as the city expanded to the south-east, and had been specifically identified by Auckland Transport for being of strategic town-planning importance in the region
“As a result of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project announcement for Mill Road, the owners of this property have decided to capitalise on what has virtually overnight become an incredible opportunity for this location,” Mr Sullivan said.
“Auckland Transport’s forecast for the Mill Road arterial route is that traffic volumes along the expressway will double within 15 years as part of sustaining a rapid population growth seeking dwellings in new urban locations,” Mr Sullivan said.
“More than 22,000 new homes are proposed for the area - with about 10,000 of those dwellings in Special Housing Areas already designated by Auckland Council, that are likely to be fast-tracked to free up land sooner rather than later.”
Mr Sullivan said a large parcel of rolling countryside farmland in the Totara Park area to the north of the Wastney Road site was on the verge of becoming a new housing enclave as residential expansion moved east from Goodwood Heights suburb. Likewise, the suburb of Randwick Park to west of the Wastney Road land was at capacity – with new home creep now moving east.
“With Auckland’s urban expansion encroaching from two sides of the compass, the Wastney Road, Ranfurly Road, Alfriston Road and Mill Road block sits at the apex of the next concentric ring of a city moving ever outward into what was once the city’s rural hinterland,” Mr Sullivan said.
“The value of this land now lies in its future use as a residential destination rather than its historical use as rural productive countryside.
“Urban expansion in locations such as Goodwood Heights and Randwick Park is fundamental to fast-tracking the Mill Road corridor project, along with other works identified in the Auckland Transport Alignment Project.”
Minister Twyford added: “Auckland is facing unprecedent population growth, and over the next 30 years a million more people will call Auckland home. Growth brings opportunities, but when combined with historic under-investment in infrastructure, the strain on the Auckland transport system is unrelenting.”
Mr Sullivan said the ‘greenfield’ 27 hectare Wastney Road block could be subdivided into a multitude of housing density configurations – allowing for multiple entry points off any and all of the four bordering roads.
“Without any in-depth geo-technical and architectural overlay plans on hand, it’s hard to say how many new homes this block could sustain. However, as a ball park figure, we believe the block could accommodate upwards of 250 stand-alone dwellings,” he said.
“Obviously that figure would be greater if any development was to be in a terraced home configuration, and even higher if apartment blocks were proposed.
“The land is of such significance that it is highlighted in Auckland Transport’s Mill Road corridor public-briefing material.”