With an inadequate supply of greenfield land for new housing developments and an insufficient range of housing types for people at different stages of their lives, Hutt City Council has been exploring residential development options. As a result, it is proposing a number of changes to housing in existing urban areas.
Council put forward a range of residential intensification proposals and sought residents’ opinions during a three-week survey, which commenced in May 2017.
The survey was completed by 1540 people and generated much discussion. Of these, 528 responses came from Hutt City Views, an online panel and representative sample of Lower Hutt residents who participate in surveys about issues facing the city. There were 1012 responses from the general public. On several of Council’s proposals, there were significant differences of opinion between the responses of the panel and those of the general public.
Proposed changes to the District Plan, outlined in the survey, would allow a wider range of housing including apartments and terraced houses in ten specific targeted areas of Lower Hutt that have good access to transport, shopping, parks and schools. They are in: Stokes Valley, Taita, Naenae, Avalon, Epuni, Waterloo, the CBD Edge, Alicetown, Waiwhetu/Woburn and Wainuiomata.
The proposals include two new zones:
- Suburban Mixed Use zone would replace much of the existing Suburban Commercial zone and allow for buildings of up to three storeys, compared with Suburban Commercial’s two-storey limit. Buildings would accommodate shops and cafes on the ground floor, with the second and third storeys being residential or offices
- The second zone, Medium Density Residential, would be located next to the proposed Suburban Mixed Use zone and allow for residential buildings of up to three storeys.
Of the panel respondents, 82 per cent supported the proposed Suburban Mixed Use zone and 12 per cent opposed it. Among general public respondents, 62 per cent supported the proposed zone with 31 per cent against. Opinions also differed on the proposed Medium Density Residential zone, which was supported by 69 per cent of panel respondents and only 44 per cent of general public respondents.
The proposals also take a fresh look at traditional infill development in the General Residential zone, including enabling more intensification on large sites and opportunities for tiny houses. Of panel respondents, 83 per cent supported traditional infill, compared to 67 per cent of general public. The proposed infill development of small houses attracted 83 per cent support from the panel and 72 per cent from general public respondents.
To ensure high-quality developments, Council proposes all developments that require resource consent would have to follow a design guide. Panel and general public respondents support for this is 82 per cent and 81 per cent respectively.
Council will now consider the proposals, taking into account the survey results. Council may recommend changes and the proposals will then be taken to the community for consultation.
View the survey results