The Nola development

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One of the roles of the local board is to advocate for the interests and preferences of local people. As part of this we get notification of various resource consent applications and we get our chance to respond.

It is an important part of the job. Often we are the only locals who will hear about these applications before they are granted and diggers turn up to a site. Our intent is to make sure that local interests are respected.

The process is technical and time lines can be tight.

Often I will receive hundreds of pages of technical documents with a request that comment be received within a few days. No pressure …

Late last year I was given notice of the application to develop houses on the Nola Orchard property. The application was novel in that it was made under new legislation.

Last year the Government passed the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-Track Consenting) Act 2020. The purpose of the Act was to help speed up resource consent applications that created employment while continuing to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. The intent is that consents that contribute to employment are given a push.

The Act sets out various listed projects which are mentioned in the Act and which are given considerable support. It also allows for applications for other projects to be included. These are described as referred projects.

Expert consenting panels are to consider listed projects and referred projects and make a decision.

The process is truncated and notice to the public is limited. The Act prohibits a panel from giving public notification or limited notification of a consent application. There are a list of groups and environmental organisations which each panel must seek comment from. Others entitled to comment include affected persons. The public is not considered an affected person.

The test to be applied to applications under the COVID Recovery Act is different to those under the Resource Management Act.

Section 31 of the fifth schedule to the Act says that panel considerations are subject to Part 2 of the RMA as well as the the purpose of the Covid Act. I am not a RMA expert but this reference suggests that the panel may be more sympathetic to a referred application than Council would be if the application followed the normal procedure.

The local board was asked to comment about the Nola Development being added to the fast track procedure and our clear preference was that it should go through the normal procedure.

Our feedback was as follows:

We acknowledge that there is an affordable housing crisis in Auckland that needs to be addressed urgently. We also support in general the construction of Kiwibuild homes to address a clear shortfall in the housing market.

However we do not consider that use of the fast track consenting process is appropriate in the circumstances and submit that it would be more appropriate for the project, or part of the project, to go through the standard consenting or designation process under the Resource Management Act 1991 (see section 23(5)(b) of the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.

The reasons for this are generally set out in Council’s planning advice but include the following:

  1. The land is zoned Residential Single House Zone under the Auckland Unitary Plan. This generally provides for development to “be of a height, bulk and form that maintains and is in keeping with the character and amenity values of the established residential neighbourhood”. This development would be of a unique scale for the area.
  2. We note Council’s preliminary view that the application should be dealt with on a notified basis. The fast track process should not be used to facilitate an application that should otherwise receive the benefit of public input.
  3. We have mixed views about parking requirements. Some of us are concerned that insufficient consideration has been given to carparks, particularly for visitors as well as the lack of provision for laundry services.
  4. There is some support for the community hub concept in the proposal.
  5. We are concerned about protecting provision of open space in the area, particularly for children. The development is opposite Parrs Park but this park is already heavily utilised. Also West Coast Road is busy and would pose a danger to young children trying to cross. As a suggestion there is a parcel of land being sold at 315A Glengarry Road adjacent to the proposed development and this parcel could theoretically be incorporated into the development to improve the level of open space.
  6. The implications for the local road system are significant. The development is on a busy road by a major roundabout. AT’s suggestion that all traffic should enter the site from Glengarry Road has some merit but would have major implications for other Glengarry Road residents as the Glengarry Road/West Coast Road is often congested, particularly in the morning and as suggested by AT some intervention may be required.
  7. Access to local schools is problematic and limited.

    These comments are provided by way of local board feedback to a planning proposal. Some consideration will be given to the formal delegation but the time frame prevents this from being completed.”

The Minister decided however to allow the application to proceed on the fast track process. This means in my view a greater chance of success and a quicker less inclusive process. The Unitary Plan provisions are still relevant but there is a greater chance that this application will succeed.

As mentioned in our submission the property is zoned residential – single house zone. It is part of the very pale tan area below.

This is the definition of the zone:

“The purpose of the Residential – Single House Zone is to maintain and enhance the amenity values of established residential neighbourhoods in number of locations. The particular amenity values of a neighbourhood may be based on special character informed by the past, spacious sites with some large trees, a coastal setting or other factors such as established neighbourhood character. …

To support the purpose of the zone, multi-unit development is not anticipated, with additional housing limited to the conversion of an existing dwelling into two dwellings and minor dwelling units. The zone is generally characterised by one to two storey high buildings consistent with a suburban built character.”

Generally the minimum lot size for a property in the single house zone is 600 square metres. The proposal is that section sizes are much smaller than this are created.

The proposed development is not far from the Sunnyvale Train Station. My estimate is that it is about 1,400 metres away. Currently Auckland Council is working on an 800 metre distance as signifying an area capable of intensification and the recently announced National Policy Statement on Urban Development anticipates construction of apartment buildings of at least six stories in walkable catchment areas around a railway station.

I am all for affordable housing. It is crazy that we have a city where teachers and police officers and nurses, let alone cleaners and supermarket workers, can barely afford to buy a house. But the Unitary Plan attempted to design a city where intensification could occur adjacent to major public transport routes and this development is outside of what was intended.

Clearly from recent feedback there is a great deal of public interest in the application. The local board’s role will be to represent those views and urge the Panel to respect the unitary plan zoning that already allows for significant intensification in the area.




  1. Dominique Young says:

    Is this development entirely Kiwibuild? If so, wouldn’t mixed use be more appropriate for this site? This site borders a semi-rural area and is quite inappropriate from that perspective as well.

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Partially Kiwibuild, approximately 140 units of the 246 units. Some detail appears on the MFE site.

  2. Martin R. Kellett says:

    I share the justifiable concerns regarding grossly inadequate section sizes, car parking provisions and dismal additional provision of open recreation spaces for the residents’ young families. Infrastructure in this area is ‘stretched at best’,, as matters stand, and would need significant enhancements to service such a additional loadings. The long term consequences of intentional departures from sound town planning principles will be a rod beaten on the young generation about to be housed in such a social environment.

  3. Varun says:

    Completely agree with the comments. There was no consultation with us. The entrance is going to be opposite my driveway and add God knows how long to an already slow commute to the city.

  4. Ceinwen Phillips says:

    I have lived for 15 years on an estate in London that had state housing and private. There was a big park in the middle. When I bought across the park the houses were more exspensive as closer to tube and train station. By the time I sold my side if estate was 25% more exspensive. The reason being that the development had to have 15% government housing on my side the developer decided to mix this in amongst private houses. It worked at troublesom tenants where soon removed by council for antisocial behaviour. The other side however they were put in one section. Within a couple if years it was full of rubbish, broken cars, and unsafe at night. Property prices stayed static instead of rising as there were always police sorting out disturbances caused by insufficient parking, drugs load music etc. The idea that you can build that number of state houses in a condensed area is rediculous. We have state build houses in Sunnyvale and the peace has been shattered by swearing and shouting. They are detached. Anyway where is the funding for classrooms, teachers, hospital extension, extra police, gp’s hospital staff, bus stops, etc. There is no infrastructure in place to support this and not budget plans to provide it. Realistically you are looking at 400+ children 600+ residents being denighed basic medical care and schooling

  5. Greg Cave says:

    What is happening in Border Road?

    1. Greg Presland says:

      I believe it is a Kainga Ora development. I drove past it yesterday. It is out of my board area sorry.

  6. Geoff Waller says:

    This is a one and only chance of being able to solve a roading probem with the junctions of West Coast Road and Glengarry Road. Reroute Glengarry road straight through the property to a new and bigger redesigned roundabout by Parrs Park.. Then permit housing on the remaining land.
    This then solves both a housing and roading problem. Auckland City planners need to be proactive to see this possibility.

  7. Greg Cave says:

    What is happening to the huge area in Edmonton Road where the vineyards used to be. It has been a wasteland for about 5 years now.

    1. Lee says:

      is it on hold because of the stand down period for old orchard land chemicals in the ground?

      1. Lee says:

        which i think why a ‘fast track’ is needed on the nola estate

      2. Greg Presland says:

        Hi Lee this will be one of the matters they have to work through.

  8. Tina Sorensen says:

    Have there been any adjustments to the Nola’s application? Is it still being processed or has consent been approved? Thanks

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Greetings Tina

      Documents can be sourced at

      There are a lot of them and I am wading through them as best as I can.

      1. Tina Sorensen says:

        Thank you for your response.

  9. Lee says:

    i am a new home owner on the back section of the Nola Estate, we have our 1st baby and are planning on a 2nd, i am guessing there will be no mid day naps for the babies.
    We bought the house in this area as it was quiet and lots of green. We have Tui, Morepork, Kingfishers and lots of other wildlife. The traffic in the area has been a little crazy with the road works in Glen Eden but not sure how long this project will take.
    I got the Notice of consent but after going online to the fastrack consent page (Memorandum on compliance) to read about it i can’t find much info other than references to other documents which i can’t locate. And a note saying amendments have not been uploaded.
    I am for more housing if it helps people in their living situations. But concerned it would investors buying and charging people rent. Our 4 bedroom mortgage is cheaper than our previous 2 bedroom rental.

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Thanks Lee that captures some of the competing thoughts about the development quite well.

  10. Marion Barnett says:

    Hi, I just wondered whether there have been responses from the developer to the concerns raised by the local residents, and what is the actual status of this? It still says on the EPA website it’s suspended till 26th July. However, the mature trees have all now been mulched and it seems the buildings are about to be demolished. I would like to offer to donate some native trees to the people immediately affected by the loss of the shelter belts if they want to do some replanting.

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Hi Marion

      I have checked and the tree felling and earthworks were approved under a separate resource consent granted on a non notified basis. The Local Board were not asked for comment about this application nor given a chance to respond …

      1. Marion says:

        Thanks, Greg. Not exactly democracy in action. I spoke to someone at the Ministry for the Environment who said that it’s all in the hands of the expert panel now at the EPA (and I don’t think it’s actually approved yet). And because macrocarpas are not native there was no protection and so the developer was able to chop them when he wanted as he owns the land. I noticed that one big tree they didn’t chop (it must be on the adjacent land) has now fallen over. However, on the bright side, there is one flax bush still standing where the old house used to be!!

  11. Lee says:

    i received a letter notification today saying an application to continue has been accepted for the Nola fast track.
    A couple of weeks ago the 3 giant pine trees in the paddock behind my house (formerly council reserve land located directly behind the Nola reserve were cut down),
    I was home crook that day and woke up to the house shaking from the impact of the 1st tree falling.
    A neighbor told me the original consent for x400 units has been decreased to x100 units.
    I haven’t seen this written anywhere officially??

  12. Vernon says:

    Hi Team,

    I have recently purchased a 3br unit in the Selo development (previously Nola Estate). I am originally from west auckland and jumped at the opportunity to move back to the area at an affordable entry point. Me and my partner want to kickstart our family close to ranges with this being our first home. Growing up in our generation, buying a home with a 500-600sqm section is not a reality anywhere close to the city, where majority of the jobs are. It seems like every community acknowledges the fact we need more housing snd more affordable housing but no community wants higher density developments in their backyard.

    From my due diligence, the developer has made a concerted effort to make this an inclusive community with really cool amenities. The project has an allocation for a secure shared bike storage, a local cafe, a laundromat, electric bike charging, picnic areas and kids playground, dog wash station.

    While I appreciate this is a big change for the community, change can be a really good thing. Just my two cents but recognise the feedback above.

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Thanks Vernon. I do hope it works out fine.

  13. Tina Sorensen says:

    Hi Greg
    After seeing Vernon’s comment earlier today, I note that the EPA website shows that consent was approved on 1st Oct. This was the first I’d heard of the approval & I wondered if the community was aware of it. The townhouses are now being advertised for sale in the name of ‘Selo’, one of many different companies involved.

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Thanks Tina. I was advised that the consent was granted last Thursday. I am hoping to read the decision and post something soon.

      I can’t find the decision on line but there are draft conditions on the website at

  14. Tina Sorensen says:

    Hi Greg – see below

    Home › Fast-track consenting › Fast-track referred projects › Nola Estate ›
    The Decision
    Read the decision report on the Nola Estate application and information about appeals.

    The Expert Consenting Panel appointed to determine the Nola Estate application has completed its consideration of the application and has made its final decision.

    On 1 October 2021, the Expert Consenting Panel granted, subject to conditions, resource consent to CPM 2019 Ltd.

    Decision report on the Nola Estate application (PDF, 1.2MB)

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Thanks Tina I have posted a quick note on the application at

  15. Lee says:

    good morning, would anyone be able to give us advice on what we should do,
    With the Nola Estate construction going on, the constant noise hasn’t been too bad but our house is shaking a lot.
    We bought the house 2 years ago and it had some damage to the front brick work, 2 cracks.
    In the past 2 months the 2 cracks have turned into 4 large cracks joined together as one.
    We replaced a shower drain cover last night and while the cover was off saw that our underground pipe has moved 2 inches away from the shower drain, meaning all our water is now flowing straight under the house.
    My wife sent me a video of the bathroom shaking this morning.
    Our neighbor next door has also mentioned their house is shaking lots.

    Any help, advice or who we should speak to would be greatly appreciated,

    1. Greg Presland says:

      Hi Lee apologies I only just saw this comment it was held up in spam. Email me details of what is happening to and I will see what I can do. Photos and videos would help.

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