We’re proposing changes to make it easier to build apartments within walking distance of shops and facilities in some of the commercial centres across the city, and on the Te Papa Peninsula.
The Amendment Act requires our city plan, in and around commercial centres, to allow for residential building heights and density appropriate for the level of commercial activities and community services of the centre.
We have defined where higher density housing could go, and how high buildings could be in and around other commercial centres.
We are proposing that building heights of eight storeys (27m) should be allowed along the Cameron Road corridor.
This would apply in a walkable catchment of 1,500m or 15 minutes from the edge of the city centre zone, and around town centres like Gate Pa, Greerton and Fraser Cove.
This aligns with the Te Papa Spatial Plan and the approach set out in proposed Plan Change 26 (Housing Choice) and the submissions received through that process.
We’re proposing that building heights between four and six storeys (16m to 21m) should be enabled in areas within five to 10 minutes’ walk (400m to 800m) of some of the city’s commercial centres.
Here’s how we worked out how much density to enable around different centres:
Step 1: we determined the type of centre: town, local or neighbourhood, based on the size of the commercially-zoned area, what activities and services it offers, and if the land around it is predominantly residential.
Map – neighbourhood, local and town centres in Tauranga (kb pdf)
Step 2: we checked for strategic considerations that would affect a centre’s classification as a neighbourhood, local or town centre, including the outcomes of spatial planning exercises like the Te Papa and Ōtūmoetai spatial plans, and the direction from the Urban Form and Transport Initiative’s connected centres programme.
Step 3: we identified the accessible walkable catchment around the centre, where the higher density would apply. In general:
- Town centres: 800m walking distance (approx. 8 minutes)
- Local centres: 400m walking distance (approx. 4 minutes)
- Neighbourhood centres: we’re not proposing to increase heights around neighbourhood centres beyond the Medium Density Residential Standards (three dwellings/three storeys) that will apply to all residential zones. This means there’s no need to identify a walkable catchment for neighbourhood centres.
Step 4: we considered building heights and density within the centre itself and the residential land in its walkable catchment. We’re proposing to enable the following heights:
- Town centres: six storeys (up to 21m) as a non-notified restricted discretionary activity
- Local centres: four storeys (up to 16m) as a non-notified restricted discretionary activity
- Neighbourhood centres: three storeys (up to 11m) - aligned with the Medium Density Residential Standards
Non-notified restricted discretionary activity means that a resource consent is required but Council can only consider specific topics as a basis for granting or refusing the consent (like infrastructure capacity and urban design), and the developer doesn’t have to notify the neighbours.
Spatial planning and investment
These proposed changes to the city plan will allow the implementation of:
- the Te Papa Plan (2020), a 30-year plan for growth and change along the Te Papa peninsula, which runs from Greerton through the city centre to the harbour bridge. Parts of Te Papa will provide for increased density such as apartment living and townhouses/terraced houses, and the plan defines the public amenities, infrastructure and community initiatives needed to support a larger population there.
- the Ōtūmoetai Spatial Plan (under development), a 30-year plan for growth for the suburbs of Ōtūmoetai, Matua, Brookfield, Bellevue and Judea. It aims to ensure we have enough homes, suitable ways to get around and community spaces to support the wellbeing of everyone who lives there.
Further work will be required, outside this plan change process, to identify what kind of investment and initiatives we will need to support intensification in other areas over time (e.g. social infrastructure and open space). This will be done through bespoke spatial planning projects like the spatial plans above.