For as long as most people can remember, a large area of land on south side of the Okura Estuary has been home to a farm.

But what’s less known is that the farmland has already been subdivided and approved for residential development – split into 4ha blocks back in the 1970s.

It was planned under the previous ownership, and it’s an unusual subdivision by today’s standards.

The development has a private road running through the middle, allowing for the creation of a gated community. On top of this, 12 of the 30 sections have riparian rights, or ownership down to the mean high water spring tide mark.  This would give landowners the right to lock the public out of the land forever.

Todd Property managing director Evan Davies says there’s an opportunity to create an alternative residential community, that would provide far greater benefits to all of Auckland.

“There is no provision of public open space as part of the historic subdivision. If it were to go ahead, the opportunity to expand the Regional Park and open up the coastline to the public would be lost. We think there’s a better outcome for Auckland,” said Mr Davies.

The alternative development plan being proposed for Okura would allow the land to be opened up to the public, with more than 40 per cent set aside for public open space.

Instead of gated development, a new family community would be created, preserving the land for everyone to enjoy.