Infill housing review

New Wellington town houses.
New Wellington town houses

Infill housing is the process of building new dwellings within an existing suburb of older houses. It is an important way of providing for future growth in Wellington.

Wellington City Council agreed in July 2006 to review the way infill housing is managed in the city.

The review was prompted by:

  • concern over the impact of infill housing on the character of residential areas
  • evidence that infill housing was being encouraged in areas with poor access to public transport and services
  • the need for more housing choices for a changing population.

In response to these concerns, the Council:

  • initiated District Plan changes in relation to how we manage residential areas
  • consulted on a targeted approach to infill housing.

Tighter rules for new housing in residential areas

In 2007 the Council made some initial changes to the District Plan to tighten key rules for new housing in residential areas. Since District Plan Change 56 came into effect, Council officers have noticed a significant improvement in the quality of applications for new residential development.

District Plan Change 56

For the second consultation (May - July 2008), the Council released a discussion paper that proposed having:

  • Character Protection Areas - where significant character values require protection from inappropriate development
  • Areas of Change - where comprehensive redevelopment of housing would be encouraged and facilitated, resulting in moderate to significant increases in residential density
  • Areas of Limited Infill - where infill housing and moderate intensification would be allowed to occur, but with a greater focus on quality.

As a result of the feedback from the two rounds of consultation, Council agreed that:

  • parts of Johnsonville and Kilbirnie should be confirmed as medium-density residential areas
  • additional policy guidance would be provided in the District Plan to better manage multi-unit development in other residential areas in the city
  • Council should take an active leadership role in planning and delivering other medium-density residential areas around the city.

The Council undertook a full review of the Suburban Centre and Residential chapters of the District Plan in Plan Changes 72 and 73. These changes, now adopted into the District Plan, included:

  • revised District Plan maps showing the proposed boundaries of the Johnsonville and Kilbirnie medium-density residential areas
  • a revised design guide for residential areas
  • provisions to protect the character of neighbourhoods close to the city centre and on the eastern and southern coast.

More information

City Planning and Design

Phone: (04) 499 4444