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Donegal Glen Stage 7: Urban Ecology-Based Design

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Hugh Green Group


An urban design-led 12ha residential development in Flat Bush, south-east Auckland. Our multidisciplinary team used a water sensitive and green infrastructure design approach to create a thriving urban ecology for the community to enjoy.


  • Urban design
  • Surveying
  • Landscape architecture
  • Civil and structural engineering
  • Stormwater engineering
  • Wastewater and potable water engineering

Project Completion

October 2015

Total Project Value

$9.5 million

Donegal Glen Stage 7 is part of a potential 1,092 lot master planned residential project in Flat Bush, south-east Auckland.

Stage 7 has transformed a 12ha site alongside Murphy’s Bush into an enclave of 77 residential lots across two ‘islands’, enhanced by scenic reserves, wetlands, stone bridges, and footpath and cycle networks.

Our work

Our urban designers led the project; driving collaboration with Hugh Green, and our surveyors, civil and structural engineers and landscape architects. A key focus was the retention of existing bush and wetlands, using water-sensitive design (before it was a requirement in the Proposed Unitary Plan) and a green infrastructure approach.

Stormwater treatment, stream retention and recognising the inherent recreational, cultural and amenity values of water were important objectives. This was achieved by habitat creation and enhancement by new planted swales, wetlands and rain gardens.

Getting services to the site while ensuring they were integrated into the environment was a challenge for the engineering team. Our innovative approach was to incorporate them into the footbridge design. The solution involved constructing a 225mm diameter concrete carrier pipe containing the smaller 150mm diameter wastewater pipe. The pipe was then integrated into the pedestrian footbridge.


In contrast to the strong rectilinear grid that characterises subdivision in Flat Bush, this enclave has a real point of difference. Its unusual location between Murphy’s Bush and an extensive vegetated corridor, its two housing ‘islands’, and its urban ecology-focused design mean Stage 7 stands proudly separate, yet remains inherently connected. All 77 lots have been sold.

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