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Plan Change 26 - Housing choice


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 in place for residential land make it hard for people to build more compact types of homes like duplexes and apartments – anything other than our standard standalone houses. This means we're not using land as effectively as possible to accommodate our growth, and not supporting the development of types of homes that may better suit some people’s needs. Check out this short animation video to understand why enabling more housing choice is important for Tauranga. We've also asked members of our community what they think living in a more compact city could be like - right here in Tauranga. Listen to what they think the future of our city could look like.

We are working on some proposed changes to the Tauranga City Plan to allow people to build different types of dwellings more easily, that create both great spaces to live in and great neighbourhoods. We presented our proposals for duplexes, townhouses and apartments to the community for feedback between 7 April and 19 May 2020.

The survey responses for the Housing Choice plan change indicate general support for the direction and rule framework for each of the proposed housing types/criteria in the Suburban Residential Zone, Te Papa area, residential activities in the Commercial Zone, and the Urban Design Assessment criteria. Find out more in our summary of engagement.

Summary of engagement - April/May 2020 (2.3mb pdf)

We will come back with a revised proposed plan change through a formal consultation process later in 2020.

In the meantime, you can read up on those proposals in the sections below, and contact cityplan@tauranga.govt.nz with any questions.

Purpose of the plan change

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, to meet our changing needs
  • reduce pressure on urban expansion and the associated infrastructure costs by enabling more intensification of existing urban areas
  • deliver a more compact city as outlined in the draft Future Development Strategy and draft Tauranga Urban Strategy.

A compact city contributes to cost efficiencies in infrastructure, and greater density in areas like the Te Papa peninsula can help to encourage modal shift for transportation with higher use of public transport, biking and walking. It may change, over time, the character of the places we live in, but it also provides vibrant centres where people can live, learn, work and play.

What will this look like?

Along the Te Papa peninsula: townhouses and apartments

Part of the plan change is about implementing the Te Papa Plan: 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. 

We’re looking at parts of Te Papa to provide for increased density such as apartment living and townhouses/terraced houses, and planning for the public amenities, infrastructure and community initiatives needed to support a larger population there.

What should rows of townhouses and apartment buildings in Te Papa look like, and what elements they should include? Find out more:

Proposed rules for residential developments in Te Papa

Citywide residential areas: duplexes and townhouses

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 more easily, while ensuring new builds also help create great neighbourhoods. 

What should duplexes and rows of townhouses in the suburban residential zone look like, and what elements they should include? Find out more:

Proposed rules for duplexes Proposed rules for rows of townhouses

Residential activities in commercial areas

We are also looking to provide greater direction on design and amenity outcomes for residential activities in the commercial zone (like apartments built above shops), increasing controls through the city plan so we can prevent subpar outcomes for their occupants, and the neighbourhood.

What should dwellings in commercial areas look like, and what elements they should include? Find out more:

Proposed rules for residential activities in the commercial zone

Urban design assessment criteria

To support good urban design outcomes, we’re proposing to introduce urban design assessment criteria for higher density developments (that we’ll assess resource consent application against), supported by an urban design guide. 

Find out more:

Proposed urban design assessment criteria

Good to know

Visible change in the city through this plan change would not happen all at once. It would happen over time as development occurs across the city, as people decide to redevelop their sections in existing residential areas. For example, in central areas like Te Papa, gradual change could happen like this:


Concept Drawing: A neighbourhood changing over time (4.4mb pdf)

We are taking into consideration and working on several other topics as we develop this plan change: natural hazards and in particular how we mitigate flood risk while enabling redevelopment (Plan Change 27); the capacity of our network infrastructure and what we’ll need to do to ensure it’s capable of handling the needs of more people in one place; and the direction set by central government on how we manage growth and how that could influence the plan change. Read up on those below, on next steps for the project and how to keep informed.

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