Extensive District Plan Changes

27 October 2009

There's been a big rewrite of our town-planning rulebook, and you're invited to say your piece. Over the next month, Wellingtonians can have a say on the city's development for the next decade.

View of Wellington Cable Car and city.

View of Wellington Cable Car and city.

The Council's City Planning Programme Manager, Luke Troy, says this is an important milestone for the city.

"These proposals will determine how Wellington city grows over the next 10 years or so. They're aimed at directing growth to the places with the best access to transport and services," he says.

The proposed changes to planning rules - District Plan Changes 72 and 73 - cover most of the built-up area of the city except the CBD and rural areas. They are wide-ranging, covering everything from what townhouse and infill development, to the location of 'big-box' shopping developments.

One of the most significant proposals is to replace the existing Suburban Centre zones with two new zones, Centres and Business Areas, to better reflect the role and function of our town centres and business areas. Most activities will still be permitted, but there will be some controls on particular types of retail activity outside the city's existing centres. We also want to ensure that industrial activities stay in the city.

The draft plan changes propose a new building design guide aimed at improving the quality of development, particularly in existing centres where local character and identity is important. They also acknowledge that the city's population is steadily growing and looks at ways of avoiding urban sprawl and encouraging sustainable, cost-effective population growth.

Some areas will be rezoned from Residential to Centres to allow for expansion and reflect existing uses, and two new 'areas of change' are proposed around the Johnsonville and Kilbirnie town centres, where medium-density residential development will be encouraged.

There are provisions to promote quality housing development throughout the city, including apartments in the larger town centres. There will also be a new 'residential coastal edge' along parts of the coastline that recognises the contribution that the coast makes to the city's character.

The changes also aim to better protect areas with a special character that are important to the city as whole, including revisions to the pre-1930 demolition controls applying to some parts of the inner suburbs to make them more consistent and effective.

It's now time for Wellingtonians to comment on the proposed changes, and every ratepayer in the city has been sent an information leaflet briefly explaining the changes.

A more comprehensive summary guide explaining the proposed District Plan changes is available on our website. Copies of the summary guide are also available from city libraries, or phone (04) 499 4444 and we will send you one. Submissions are due by 5.00pm on Friday 27 November.