31 Aug 2023

Hutt City Council to allow for high density housing, scraps proposed heritage areas

8:06 am on 31 August 2023
A construction site in Manukau, South Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Liu Chen

Six proposed heritage areas have been scrapped by the Hutt City Council.

It had been opposed by some residents who did not believe the areas of Hardham Crescent, Hutt Road Railway, Moera Railway, Petone Foreshore, Petone State Flats, and Wainuiomata Terracrete Homes all had heritage value.

The six residential heritage areas were proposed by a council-appointed independent heritage expert and were included in Plan Change 56: Enabling Intensification in Residential and Commercial Areas.

But on Wednesday, council unanimously agreed with the independent panel's recommendation to not proceed with them.

The panel accepted council's overall approach to heritage protection but raised concerns about how the proposed heritage areas were assessed for heritage values.

"While council does not agree entirely with the approach of central government in how to enable intensification, we have fulfilled our obligations," mayor Campbell Barry said.

"We accepted all the recommendations of the independent panel and will now continue our work with a full District Plan review."

Head of planning Tim Johnstone said the Lower Hutt population was expected to grow by 40,000 people by 2050.

Key changes recommended for Plan Change 56:

  • Reductions in the size of the High Density and Medium Density Residential Activity Areas in parts of Harbour View, Korokoro, Manor Park, Normandale, and Tirohanga
  • Increases in the size of the High Density Residential Activity Area in parts of Moera and Naenae
  • In Eastbourne, Stokes Valley, and Wainuiomata change from High Density Residential to Medium Density Residential but simultaneously apply a higher height limit of 18m (approx five storeys) and over a wider area
  • Increase the height limit from 22m to 36m (approximately ten storeys) immediately adjacent to the city centre
  • Not proceeding with the proposed new residential heritage areas of Hardham Crescent, Hutt Road Railway, Moera Railway, Petone Foreshore, Petone State Flats, and Wainuiomata Terracrete Homes
  • A slight expansion of the Jackson Street Heritage Area to include 352, 358, and 362-364 Jackson Street
  • A lower height limit on regional council-owned land near Korokoro urupā, from 22m to 12m (six storeys to three)
  • A selectively more generous recession plane in the High Density Residential Activity Area for developments that provide a significant number of new homes, to encourage buildings to be located closer to the street
  • A simplified resource consent pathway to encourage more small-scale commercial activities in High Density Residential areas at the ground floor of apartment buildings

Plan Change 56, including the panel's recommendations, will become operative on 21 September.

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