Find out how we're making room for population growth, and providing space for businesses to develop to make jobs for Hutt City residents.
Business, industry and the district plan
The district plan is the city’s set of rules that say where different activities can take place, where we can build factories, offices or larger shops and where we can build houses, schools and hospitals.
The current review of the district plan needs to look at the existing zones for different activities to see if they need to be changed. Some new rules about what can be built, and where, will be needed in line with the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.
Business, commercial and industrial zones
The main business areas in Hutt City are:
- City centre
- Hutt Road to Melling
- Naenae centre
- Eastern Hutt Road in Taita
- Stokes Valley.
Business and industrial activities are best concentrated in specific areas for a number of reasons:
- It is convenient for customers to go to one area to do all their shopping rather than have to travel to several different places.
- Many businesses supply goods or services to other businesses and it makes sense for them to be close to their main customers.
- It would be disruptive to have workers and traffic from a commercial or industrial area coming and going all day through residential streets.
- Industrial activities are often noisy or dirty and would be undesirable close to housing.
Business areas and housing
Lower Hutt’s population is expected to increase by 49,000 people between 2021 and 2051, with an expected population by that time of 163,000. This means we'll need more dwellings for people to live in and need to create space for new and existing businesses to provide the additional goods and services that will be required.
Lower Hutt’s commercial and industrial areas have to meet these needs. At the same time, there is an opportunity to revitalise and make better use of our urban and commercial centres by providing for mixed use commercial and residential development. If we are to find space for population growth, we have to consider more residential development in urban and commercial centres.
The National Policy Statement on Urban Development says councils must allow buildings of up to at least six storeys in city centre zones, areas within walkable distance of the centre, and areas within walkable distance of rapid transit stops (train stations).
Buildings of this size fit in well with the character of commercial centre zones. Creating more residential buildings in business areas also brings demand for shops, cafes and restaurants that can revitalise urban centres.
By keeping an eye on business demand it will be possible to ensure that we balance this with demand for housing to enable businesses to grow. However, residential apartments can easily include office and shop space on lower floors so that business space is not lost.
It is also important not to allow too much housing in areas where industrial businesses may need to operate. Although industrial activity in Lower Hutt is not expected to increase, and may even decrease, if we change zones to allow housing to spread into areas previously set aside for noisy or disruptive activity then we create an obstacle for that kind of industry in the future.