Upper Stebbings Valley community

We propose to develop a new community located between Churton Park and Tawa, Upper Stebbings Valley and Glenside West. It's one of the last remaining areas of Wellington identified for new housing.


A mayor- and Councillor-led community meeting held on Tuesday 12 February offered people the opportunity to hear more about the Upper Stebbings Valley and Glenside West Structure Plan. Council Officers presented the learnings from the project so far, as well as findings from community feedback on the three development scenarios presented late last year.

This feedback is being used to help inform the next steps in the project. 

We will ensure that as we work through these next steps we clearly communicate the timeline and phases of work, and when and how the community can participate and provide input. It was also agreed that the previous scenarios will not be used in any further engagement, as the Council continues to re-think the plans for this area.

The boundary of Upper Stebbings Valley, between Churton Park and Tawa.

Upper Stebbings Valley boundary


What’s happened so far?

February 2019: At a community meeting, we presented community feedback on the three development scenarios presented late last year. It was agreed that the scenarios will not be used in any further engagement, as the Council continues to re-think the plans for this area.

December 2018: We sought public feedback on three scenarios for the development of Upper Stebbings Valley. The survey closed on 16 December and the results have been analysed.

August/September 2018: People and organisations with an interest in the project helped with early planning workshops. Working groups created a vision for the new community and high level design principles for future development. A public survey in September 2018 helped inform the outcome. See the consultant’s report:

Co-design workshop 1 outputs (1.87MB PDF)

What's next?

Feedback from the meeting in February suggested the Council should take the time to do this project well. The initial timeframe is for a draft structure plan to be ready in early 2020. To prepare this draft plan, we will undertake a number of investigations and works, ensuring that the community can engage along the way.

We will share more detail about these works over the coming weeks and months as they are planned and started.  Key investigations will be:

  • Transport options and impacts – including roading options
  • Earthworks details – this is a requirement for roads and buildings
  • Housing details – the housing numbers and types
  • Environmental and parks planning – what areas are protected and what can be made available for public access via tracks etc
  • Economic feasibility and benefits.

The Council will also undertake detailed work on infrastructure planning including reservoirs, pipes and streams.

Once a plan has been consulted on and agreed by the Council, we will then have to undertake a District Plan Change.  This is likely to happen in 2021 – 2022. 

Development planning can then be started, and it is likely development of the area will take up to 10 to 20 years to be completed.

Community Survey Feedback

Scenario 1:

This has good support with good access to native flora and fauna.  However, most people did not believe this would supply the necessary types of housing, public transport options or local facilities.

Scenario 2:

This has good support with good access to native flora and fauna, as well as offering diverse housing types. However, there is disagreement over whether the area would be suitably serviced with public and active transport options, as well local facilities.

Scenario 3:

This has good support, providing a range of housing types, good public transport, walking and cycling connections, as well as appropriate local facilities.  However, there was disagreement over whether this area would be environmentally responsible.

Copy of the summary presentation by Council Officers  (347 KB PDF) Please note the Phase 2 timeline to develop a master plan by October 2019 has been adjusted to early 2020 based on feedback to ensure appropriate time is taken to incorporate community feedback.

Structure Plan scenario feedback:

Upper Stebbings Valley Survey 2 report (372 KB PDF)

Upper Stebbings Valley – Appendicies to Report (746 KB PDF)

Upper Stebbings Verbatim Comment Analysis (554 KB PDF)

Feedback results September 2018

The vision for a new suburb and community

People will want to live in a community unique to Wellington that is an inclusive and diverse urban area with green spaces, quality transport systems, and effective infrastructure.

Design principles for future development include:


  • A compact and diverse community with high standards of liveability. 
  • Diverse housing types and styles to meet the diverse needs. 

Parks and nature

  • A community where you can see, experience and play amongst the native flora and fauna.
  • A community design from the start to be environmentally responsible.

Community and resilience

  • A community that embodies Wellington’s cultural diversity, friendly people, festivities and creativity.
  • A well connected community with facilities and activities so that people can thrive.

Transport, 3 waters and power

  • Good public and active transport connections.
  • Green and traditional water infrastructure that works together improving water quality and preventing flooding.

Next steps

  • Early 2019 – Undertake detailed investigation of housing options on western part of Upper Stebbings Valley site. Engagement to follow once complete.
  • Middle to late 2019 – Develop roading options and engage with the public.
  • Early 2020 – Develop the comprehensive detailed plan to engage with community.

About the project

Wellington needs more homes. We expect around 80,000 more people to be living in Wellington by 2043.

We are already looking at ways to house more people in the central city.

We're considering how to create more homes in areas, including the central city and a new community further north.

If we create a new community in Upper Stebbings Valley and Glenside West, we want to do it right. We have to think about how a new community will affect surrounding areas, including:

  • new housing and types of houses for Wellington
  • local streams and Porirua Harbour 
  • facilities needed by a new community
  • open and green spaces for people, plants and animals
  • connections to other suburbs and the central city.

Proposed area

The proposed area covers about 260 hectares of land between Churton Park and Tawa – Upper Stebbings Valley, Marshall Ridge and the western hills of Glenside. It is zoned as rural in the District Plan and is mostly open farmland or pine tree plantations.

You can get an idea of what area Upper Stebbings Valley covers in the map of the Upper Stebbings Valley boundary

Planning for the future

We're creating a high-level plan for the future of the Upper Stebbings Valley and Glenside West area – how it might look, what people will need and what facilities should be provided. The plan will include things like transport, housing density, parks and reserves, water management and resilience. It will be approved by Councillors before work is done to include it in the District Plan.

We have gathered background information for the area:

  • cultural values report (1.1MB PDF) – how mana whenua value the land 
  • local history report (1.4MB PDF) – settlement of the area
  • transport report (3.1MB PDF) – impact on existing infrastructure and making new transport connections 
    • Important to note: Development scenarios included in this report are for modelling purposes only and do not represent any supported or potential dwellings expected from this planning project.
  • landscape and local ecology report (7.7MB PDF) – values of the landscape to the area, and information on birds, lizards, water quality and stream life.

The Upper Stebbings Valley land was identified in the Northern Growth Management Framework (2003) which looked at how the northern suburbs would grow over the next 20 years. The Wellington Urban Growth Plan (2014) also identifies the land as an area available for growth.

More information

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss the project.

David Mitchell, Senior Spatial Planning Advisor
Phone: 04 499 4444
Email: upperstebbingsvalley@wcc.govt.nz