Paradise or purgatory: Urban sprawl in spotlight

A debate over city growth has emerged after a housing affordability survey released this week recommended freeing up more land for houses.

Demographia’s fourth annual survey found New Zealand houses more unaffordable than those in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain and Australia.

The residential construction sector is now calling for more sections to be freed up, but a planning boss says this view is short-sighted and could have disastrous consequences.

Pieter Burghout, chief executive of the Master Builders Federation, praised the survey for reinforcing points he had made to the Government. But Paul Walbran, chairman of the Auckland Regional Council’s regional strategy and planning committee, attacked the survey because he said it recommended urban sprawl.

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