The Tauranga Urban Design panel provides independent design review of significant projects across the city.
Our city is growing fast and will see significant transformation over the next decade and beyond. It’s an exciting time and Tauranga City Council is committed to support the delivery of buildings, public spaces and neighbourhoods that our community can be proud of.
To support quality design outcomes in our city, we have set up an independent Urban Design Panel, which will review significant, transformational or large-scale private and public sector development proposals, in the early stages of their design. The Panel is an independent advisory body and does not have statutory decision-making powers. The assessment of proposals by the Panel in advance of resource consent lodgement enables the applicant to receive targeted advice with regards to how their proposal achieves high quality urban design outcomes.
Find out which types of proposals could benefit from the panel’s expertise in the ‘triggers’ section below.
How the panel can help
The panel provides developers, consultants and council with targeted urban design feedback and recommendations on their proposals, helping identify opportunities for added value to be explored, and potential design issues early on.
The panel has an advisory role – it does not make decisions on resource consent applications or override the City Plan process. Its job is to:
- provide applicants and their designers with advice as to how their proposal could be progressed to promote high quality design outcomes (prior to lodgement).
- provide council with recommendations that will be considered in the review of resource consent applications and incorporated into planning reports.
Working with the panel is voluntary and free of charge for developers and applicants. It may even reduce your project’s overall consenting and planning timeframes and costs by providing external expertise and guidance on a proposal which may lead to a quicker, easier resource consenting process in relation to urban design matters.
Panel review sessions occur every fortnight on a Tuesday afternoon. Each session will last for approximately 1.5 hours - depending on the scale and complexity of the proposal. An indicative agenda is outlined below:
Panel briefing with Council officers
- Outline of the proposal, the key issues and the key areas in which Council are seeking Panel recommendations.
| 15 minutes
Welcome from the Chair
- Introduction of Panelists and applicant;
- Overview of Panel review process;
- Opportunity for a mihi / pepeha and karakia.
Applicant presentation of proposal
(please assume that the panel have read the information pack and focus on the key, relevant points of the scheme)
|Panel discussion with applicant
The Chair will ensure that the scope of feedback is aligned with the Panel Terms of Reference.
- Opportunity for panel to ask questions and seek clarification
- Panel to provide the applicant with a clear idea of which parts of the proposal are supported and which elements may need further consideration.
|Recommendations (just the Panel)
Recommendations should expand on those discussed with the applicant and not introduce new feedback (a ‘no surprises’ approach).
- Once the applicant has left, Panelists will remain to agree upon and finalise their recommendations;
|Total available time
In order to expedite the process, please ensure that you provide your applicant information pack to Council well in advance of (at least two weeks prior to) your Panel session date. Failure to do so may result in postponement of the Panel session to the next available date.
Where possible, Panel recommendations will be issued to the applicant and relevant Council staff by end of day Friday following a Tuesday afternoon Panel review session. This may vary for larger or more complex and indicative timeframes will be communicated to the applicant where recommendations are delayed.
We encourage developers to submit their plans for panel review at or before the resource consent pre-application stage. This enables issues to be raised early in design development and supports the consent process. You don’t need to have a fully formed development plan for an initial discussion – if you have a site and an idea of the bulk, form, function and vision for your project, get in touch via the request form or on email@example.com.
A review consists of two to four panellists, selected based on their expertise and the project at hand, meeting with the developer and their designer/agent to understand the design objectives, constraints and outcomes sought. We’ll ask the applicant for more information on their project in advance of the panel meeting, so the panel can prepare.
The panel meeting will allow time for the applicant to present their proposal, for questions and clarifications, and discussion. The panel will share its recommendations during the panel meeting, and follow up within three working days with its written recommendations.
Should the applicant revise certain aspects of their design following the recommendations, they will be able to meet with council’s urban design representative and consenting planner, or even the panel itself, before lodgement to review the revised scheme.
Panel meetings are not open to the public and information provided to the panel is held in confidence. Panel recommendations become a public record once a resource consent application is lodged.
The list below outlines the types of projects that would likely be recommended for review by the panel. The triggers help identify proposals that due to their scale, complexity or location would benefit from independent design review. This is not an exhaustive list and applications for other types of activities may be recommended for panel review as well. Council’s urban design representative will assess these on a case-by-case basis.
- Any project deemed ‘transformational’ by council’s urban design representative or planning officers
- Any large development within or near an identified centre (as defined in the City Plan)
- Apartment buildings, office/commercial buildings, or large mixed-use developments
- Medium- or large-scale residential developments (predominantly over six units)
- Masterplans for any new greenfield or brownfield development
- Major council capital projects including streetscape upgrades and community facilities
- Major public works by government departments and other organisations (e.g., schools, health, transport).
Meet the Tauranga Urban Design Panel
The panel brings together leading urban designers, architects, landscape architects, planners, Māori designers and property developers from within Tauranga and around New Zealand, nominated by professional organisations.