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Plan Change 26 – Housing choice

To allow Tauranga to grow up as well as out, our city plan rules need to enable more housing choice.

Right now, the rules (or framework) in place for residential land make it hard for people to build more compact types of homes like duplexes and apartments. This means we're not using land as effectively as possible to accommodate our growth.

This is an issue for two main reasons: (1) our population is growing fast and we need to ensure we have enough homes for people to live in; and (2) our community is changing over time – we are getting older, and families are getting smaller – so we don’t all need a three or four bedroom house.

We are currently reviewing and propose to make changes to the suburban residential, city living and commercial zones within our city plan to allow people to build different types of dwellings more easily, to better suit their needs.

In the first half of 2020 we'll be asking the community for feedback on the proposed direction of the plan change. Do you have any ideas or concerns on our proposed approach to delivering duplexes, terraced housing and apartments? Have we missed anything? At the same time we will seeking feedback on the key transport, land use and community outcomes for the Te Papa area.

In the meantime, read more below, sign up for project updates and contact us with any questions.

Sign up to the Te Papa and Housing choice e-newsletter

Contact us with any questions

The housing choice plan change is intended to:

  • help address our residential development capacity constraints (shortage of developable land)
  • enable more housing choice through a variety of housing types and site sizes
  • reduce pressure on urban expansion and the associated infrastructure costs by enabling more intensification of existing urban areas and 
  • deliver a more compact city as outlined in the draft Future Development Strategy and draft Tauranga Urban Strategy.

What will this look like?

  1. Along the Te Papa peninsula
    Part of the plan change is about implementing the Te Papa Spatial Framework: a 30-year plan for growth and change along the Te Papa peninsula, which runs from Barkes Corner through the city centre to the harbour bridge. We’re looking at parts of Te Papa to provide for increased density such as apartment living and terraced houses, and planning for the public amenities, infrastructure and community initiatives needed to support a larger population there.

    Find out more about the Te Papa project
  2. Citywide residential areas
    We are also looking at what people can build in the rest of the city, in what we call the suburban residential zone, and looking at the infrastructure needed to support a greater variety in housing choice. We are proposing to change the city plan so people can build other types of homes such as duplexes and terraced houses/townhouses (aka semi-detached houses, walk-ups).  We are proposing to retain the current city plan rules for heights (9 metre height limit), overshadowing and setbacks – so the footprint and height of the buildings would stay the same as what people can build right now.
  3. Commercial areas
    We are also looking to provide greater direction on quality design and amenity outcomes for residential development in the commercial zone.

The housing choice plan change will provide further policy guidance and controls for higher density development, give greater direction on design and ensure buildings and areas of outdoor space are well positioned on sites. Altogether they will help ensure new builds create great places and neighbourhoods to live in.

Note on government requirements

The government’s proposed National Policy Statement (NPS) on urban development, released in September 2019, stressed the urgency for urban growth areas in New Zealand to grow up as well as out, and for district plan rules to become more enabling of intensification. In this proposal the government has identified Tauranga as a ‘major urban centre’ which would need to meet more stringent growth requirements, which we would then need to reflect in our planning rules. We expect the final NPS to be released around July 2020, and acknowledge this may impact the outcomes of the intensification plan change, and of our spatial planning work in the Te Papa peninsula. We will keep you informed along the way.

Next steps and keep informed

We are currently drafting and testing the plan change provisions. In parallel we are looking into using the streamlined planning process, a planning pathway provided through the Resource Management Act and approved by the Minister for the Environment, as an alternative to the standard Schedule 1 planning process we usually use for plan changes. To find out more, see our release on exploring planning process to accelerate the delivery of a more compact city.

Engagement with the community on the proposed plan change is progressing initially through the Te Papa project. Further engagement will take place in 2020.

Stage 1 - first half of 2020. Community discussion on the proposed direction of the plan change. Do you have any feedback on our proposed approach to delivering duplexes, terraced housing and apartments? Have we missed anything? Here we will also be seeking feedback on the key transport, land use and community outcomes for Te Papa.

Stage 2 - second half of 2020. Public notification of the proposed plan change (formal submissions). What do you think about the proposed provisions/rules?

Mid 2019 - Community discussions: what do you love and what would you change in Te Papa? Review feedback, develop proposed plan change and proposed spatial plan for Te Papa. Community discussions: what do you think about the draft city plan changes, and the proposed spatial plan for Te Papa? Review of feedback, finalising the proposed city plan changes and progressing the Te Papa spatial plan. Public notification of the city plan change, and finalising the Te Papa spatial plan. 2021 - Hearings and deliberations, city plan change to become operative.

Sign up to the Te Papa and Housing choice e-newsletter

Contact us with any questions



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