Warning on plan change implications

Proposed district plan changes putting extra requirements on building houses in some residential zoned areas might have a chilling effect on future development, a Dunedin City Council hearing panel has heard.

The panel met yesterday for a third hearing into proposed changes for the second generation district plan, and considered changes to Three Waters infrastructure requirements for housing developments.

Evidence was presented by Sweep Consultancy consultant Emma Peters and Paterson Pitts Group consultant Kurt Bowen yesterday afternoon on behalf of more than 25 individual submitters to the plan change.

Their submission took exception to council proposals to apply a new development mapped area (NDMA) to some existing residential-zoned areas, citing the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) which said the development capacity of such areas should already be "infrastructure-ready".

The NPS-UD defined "infrastructure-ready" in the short term by saying there was good enough infrastructure already existing to support development of the land.

Ms Peters said it was understandable that the council wanted to be cautious, particularly in the area of stormwater management, but an NDMA would impede the short-term development of housing in these areas.

"We don’t want to impede the development of that particularly short-term capacity. Dunedin does have a housing crisis."

Mr Bowen said an NDMA would add provisions on new developments, including water issues, energy efficiency and public amenities.

He stressed that his clients agreed that such considerations were wholly appropriate for greenfields developments, but were too onerous to be applied to areas already zoned as residential.

Earlier in the hearing, commissioner Gary Rae asked reporting officer Emily McEwan on her reaction to the suggestion that residential zoned areas did not need NDMA mapping as they should already be "infrastructure-ready".

Ms McEwan said there was still an obligation on developers to manage the effects of their developments.

"That would still be a requirement under the existing provisions of the plan and the proposal strengthens that approach."

 - andrew.marshall@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter