Council is beginning a full review of Lower Hutt’s District Plan – the city’s rule book for land use and the blueprint for future development.
The review is a complex job and we’re expecting it will take up to four years before the new District Plan becomes operative.
What is the District Plan?
The District Plan affects the lives of every resident. It influences housing availability and affordability.
It helps guide how our city will look, feel and operate over the decades ahead. It governs how we care for the environment around us and how we protect our natural and historic heritage. It determines whether you can build a second house or tiny home on your land, what your neighbours can do on their land, and whether a business can set up next door.
The New District Plan
The new District Plan will reflect Council’s vision of making Lower Hutt a city where all of its people can thrive. The review provides an opportunity to take a fresh look at how we want our growing city to evolve and how we address environmental issues while ensuring the economic health of the city.
Council believes active and meaningful engagement with the public and stakeholders is crucial to developing a new District Plan that will be endorsed by the community, and one that truly takes into account the unique needs of the city’s people, its land and resources. Council is taking a partnership approach with mana whenua throughout the review to ensure their views and aspirations are fully considered.
The Current District Plan
Lower Hutt’s District Plan became operative in 2003. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires Councils review their district plans every 10 years. There has been a rolling review of Hutt City Council’s District Plan, but around half of its chapters are yet to be reviewed.
What does the review cover?
The review will cover parts of the District Plan and involves a wide range of issues. The key ones are:
- Residential development – how we prepare for a growing population
- Natural hazards and climate change – how we design a city that will cope with rising sea levels, extreme weather events and earthquakes
- Indigenous biodiversity – how we protect our native plant and animal habitats
- Historic and cultural heritage – how we preserve our past
You can find the full list of issues to be covered in the District Plan.
What happens next?
Over the next few months, Council will provide more information about the review. While there will be opportunities for formal submissions during the review, we will also be asking you what you want for your city and what’s important to you about how Lower Hutt develops.
Phase 1 Mid-2020 to Mid-2021
- Council undertakes research, evaluates current District Plan
- Key topics – historic heritage, residential development, natural hazards and ecosystems and indigenous biodiversity
- Council begins extensive discussions with the community, mana whenua and stakeholders seeking their thoughts, ideas and concerns on issues covered by the District Plan
Phase 2 Mid-2021 to Mid-2022
- Draft District Plan released and formal public consultation on the draft begins
- Review feedback from public and stakeholders
- Draft proposed District Plan completed
- More public engagement based on earlier feedback
- Finalise proposed district plan
Phase 3 Mid-2022 to Mid-2024
- Notification of proposed District Plan
- Submissions, followed by public hearings and the final decision on the plan
Phase 4 Mid-2024 onwards
- Environment Court Appeals.
Frequently asked questions
For more information check out the frequently asked questions for the district plan review.
You can contact our District Plan team at: firstname.lastname@example.org