Shaping urban growth and rural development

Published on 30 September 2020


We’re embarking on a significant review of the residential and rural areas of our District Plan, which controls development and land use in Upper Hutt. We’ve called this review ‘Plan Change 50’ because we’ll be changing policies and rules in the District Plan to enable the right types of housing growth in the right places.

The reality is that continuing to plan for and accommodate development in the same way we have in the past may not achieve the best future for our city. We expect that we will have a shortfall of up to 2100 homes by 2047 if we don’t change the way we do things. This plan change will address that so we can achieve better outcomes for future generations, while growing in a sensible and sustainable way.

Over the last year we’ve carried out detailed analysis to identify what issues currently exist and what opportunities may help us address these issues. They include things like how we will protect residential character areas from overdevelopment, where we’ll seek to intensify residential living, where we will build high density housing and how growth areas, like Kingsley Heights, the Southern Growth Area (Eastern Pinehaven Hills) and Gillespies Block, will be developed.

We've also established focus groups within our community so we could better understand what impacts the outcome of our analysis might have. Earlier this year we identified a list issues and opportunities for both the rural and residential areas of Upper Hutt and asked for you feedback through our ‘Lets Korero’ initiative. You can read more at

We’re now ready to share the approach we’re planning to take and ask for your feedback on the following themes:

  • Enabling growth areas with clear outcomes - e.g. identifying new areas for rural and residential development
  • Retaining our character - e.g. protecting identified character areas from overdevelopment
  • Having flexibility when subdividing - e.g. flexible and adaptable subdivision controls
  • Greater housing choice and diversity is available to enable affordability and accessibility – e.g. allowing small dwellings on existing sites and construction of more one and two bedroom units
  • Intensifying development in appropriate rural and residential areas – e.g. high density housing around urban train stations and the city centre, and lifestyle development in rural areas
  • Creating opportunities for home enterprise - e.g. Airbnb style accommodation, working from home or selling goods from your home
  • Developing sustainably with resilience in mind - e.g. water management, infrastructure capacity and energy/emission reduction

Your feedback on these changes will help us cultivate Upper Hutt’s reputation as a fantastic scenic playground, a centre for opportunity, offering diversity in housing choice, and having happy residents in our community.

Don’t miss your opportunity to read through what’s planned and to have your say using our feedback form. Visit for all the information. Paper-based forms are available from Council reception and at our libraries.

Feedback closes on 2 November 2020.

Want to talk to someone? You can speak with a member of our Planning team, just call (04) 527 2169.