• Proposed district plan change allowing more houses to be built in urban areas reaches hearings stage

Proposed district plan change allowing more houses to be built in urban areas reaches hearings stage

Submissions into a proposed district plan change that would see more houses allowed to be built within existing urban areas, will be heard next week.

‘Plan Change 5: Right Homes; Right Place’ has now reached the hearing stage, with submissions on the plan to be formally heard next week on April 4 and 5.

Plan Change 5 proposes altering the rules around the development of residential housing to allow more houses to be built within existing urban areas. This would help to meet the increased demand for housing in Hastings.

Public submissions first opened for Plan Change 5 in late 2022. Since then, a total of 152 submissions and 31 further submissions were received.

In response to submissions, Council officers have recommended that the hearings panel consider changing the extent of the Medium Density Residential Zone (MDRZ) that was outlined in the original plan change proposal.

When originally notified, Plan Change 5 applied the MDRZ to areas zoned City Living Zone or areas identified as suitable for Comprehensive Residential Development in the current District Plan, in Hastings and Havelock North.

The recommendation now is that the MDRZ be applied to a 400-metre area (five-minute walking distance) around Hastings city centre and main transport corridors, and the centres of Havelock North and Flaxmere. 

The revised approach is in response to submissions and is considered more consistent with Council’s obligations under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, as well as being more transparent and easier to understand.

Submitters were notified of these recommended changes to Plan Change 5 on March 15.

The decision on the final form of Plan Change 5 will be made by the Commissioners following the public hearings.

For more information on Plan Change 5, visit the link here - https://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/hastings/projects/plan-change-5-right-homes-right-place/