Hutt City Council is now calling for submissions on its proposal to enable medium density housing and a wider range of housing types to be built in the city, with a particular focus on nine suburban centres.
The proposed District Plan change would permit a wider range of housing, including low-rise apartments and terraced houses, centred on nine areas with good access to public transport, shopping, parks and schools.
It would allow a permitted residential building height standard of 10 metres (three storeys), compared to the current eight metre (two storey) height standard in the General Residential Activity Area.
Because of the scope and importance of the proposals, today’s public notification of District Plan Change 43 will be followed by an extended four-month consultation period ending on 9 March, 2018.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says the proposed plan change is aimed at positioning the city for the future and will underpin Council’s current work to rejuvenate the city.
“Lower Hutt has very limited land for residential development and a shortage of housing capacity, especially one and two bedroom homes. At the same time we are seeing population growth after several decades of minimal movement.”
The proposed changes will also help address issues such as housing affordability, particularly for those looking to buy their first property, and offer practical options to older residents looking to downsize their homes while remaining in their home suburbs.
“This plan change will put Lower Hutt ahead of the game in enabling housing supply to meet demand and avoid the housing shortage and skyrocketing house price situation that we’ve seen in other New Zealand cities. That scenario is a significant drag on city economies and deprives young people the opportunity of owning their own home – owning a house shouldn’t be a privilege for a few,” Mayor Wallace says.
“And there are many other reasons behind this proposal. We need good quality, affordable housing if Lower Hutt businesses are to recruit and retain staff. More compact communities mean less reliance on cars, less emissions and more cost-effective use of our infrastructure. It encourages walking and cycling and greater use of public transport.”
He says, understandably, such changes evoke strong emotions from some residents.
“I believe we’ve struck a sensible balance between working for the greater long-term good of the city and the concerns of those residents who would prefer things remain the same.”
A design guide, for more intensive developments requiring resource consent, would address issues such as the effects on privacy and shade, the quality of building designs and onsite storm water management.
Details on the plan change and information on how to make a submission can be found at: www.huttcity.govt.nz/pc43