The draft Plan Change 50 residential work was in an advanced state with community consultation completed on draft provisions before the Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) was released. Councils were not aware of the MDRS prior to the Government’s public announcement of its release.
The MDRS includes compulsory rules and standards for residential subdivision and development. In many instances the MDRS requirements are different to those proposed under the Council’s earlier draft intensification work. This means the Council reviewed this earlier intensification work to determine what parts could still progress, and what parts are replaced by the MDRS.
The Council has included high density and general residential zone changes as part of the Intensification Planning Instrument (IPI). The high-density residential areas can still progress, although some minor changes to boundaries may be desirable.
PC50 will continue as the Rural Review with public notification proposed for October 2023.
Plan Change Overview & Documentation
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 done in the past may not achieve the best future for our city. The latest growth projection suggests that we need to provide for 10,000 homes over the next 30 years, with the most recent capacity assessment demonstrating we cannot achieve this under the current framework. The key objective of this plan change is therefore to be able to provide for sufficient housing for future generations, while growing in a considered and sustainable way.
Over the last two and a half years we’ve been working through a review of the residential and rural chapters of our District Plan to identify ways in which we can accommodate more growth.
This work has factored in the Government’s National Policy Statement on Urban Development which directs us to enable greater housing to meet demand, and we are therefore proposing some significant changes.
Before we go through a formal consultation process in mid-2022, we want to share our draft proposal with the community for feedback, to improve the quality of our final proposal.
Key draft proposals include:
- Reducing the proportion of the suburban residential zone by 50%, replacing most with Medium and High Density Zones.
- Creating a High Density zone within walkable areas to urban railway stations and the CBD (Central Business District) boundary from Silverstream to Clouston Park – enabling at least six storey residential development.
- Medium Density zones introduced as a buffer between High Density and suburban areas, enabling up to four storey developments, easing the transition to High Density.
- Medium Density clusters introduced in Brentwood/Trentham, Totara Park, Clouston Park, and Brown Owl.
- Enabling the construction of a second dwelling on most rural and residentially zoned land.
- Enabling subdivision around any existing or proposed dwelling without any minimum lot size.
- Creating provisions to enable Papakāinga and communal housing options to improve housing accessibility.
- Generally intensifying residential zones, while protecting distinct character areas.
- Reviewing standards for other activities undertaken in residential areas, such has home businesses, visitor accommodation, early childcare facilities, and rest homes.
- Settlement zoning throughout the Maymorn area, including Settlement Zone over most of the Gabites Farm Block.
- Introducing enabling controls to help establish a centre for the local rural community near Whitemans Church and around the Maymorn Station.
- Enablement of rural businesses that build upon our great outdoor environment.
- Rural Lifestyle areas generally moving to foothills, where easily accessible to urban areas, protecting the openness and productive value of the valley floor.
- Protection of all high class soils in rural areas through an increase in minimum subdivision standards, while enabling key settlement areas previously identified.
- Introduction of many landscape-oriented controls in the rural environment to protect this sensitive area.
Full draft proposals for both rural and residential areas are available below, along with our latest background reporting. Public feedback on draft proposals was open from 23 July to 13 September 2021.
View draft PC50 zone mapping
See our PC50 Frequently Asked Questions document(PDF, 796KB) here.
Draft Residential Objectives, Policies & Provisions:
Draft Rural Objectives, Policies & Provisions:
Phase 3 Supporting Reports:
Videos of Zoom engagement sessions on full draft proposal:
Feedback on the PC50 draft proposals was open until 13 September 2021, providing the public close to eight weeks to review material and give feedback. The report below summarises the feedback received during this period of time
PC50 Public Engagement Report(PDF, 2MB)
See below for previous engagements:
Proposed Strategic Objectives and Policies
Opened from 30 September to 2 November 2020
This public engagement sought feedback the approach we’re planning to take around 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.
See below to read what Strategic Objectives and Policies we sought feedback on:
See below for a summary of the feedback we received Strategic Objectives and Policies:
PC50 Engagement Report - Strategic Objectives Policies (PDF, 760KB)
March/May 2020 – Issues and Opportunities Feedback
Opened from 16 March to 8 May 2020
Large scale reporting has been underway over the last year in order to identify what issues currently exist and what opportunities may assist us in addressing these issues. Community focus groups have also been established to better understand the implications of reporting conclusions at the local level, whether or not this accurately reflects their understanding of the environment, and what other problems and solutions they believe exist.
The following captures the conclusions of these discussions and reports, and summarises the issues and opportunities identified to date. We sought your feedback over March/May 2020 on whether you believe this accurately reflects the current issues for rural and residential areas and the opportunities that exist to secure their future.
See below for links to our Issues and Opportunities we sought feedback on:
See below for a summary of the feedback we received on our Issues and Opportunities and Lets Korero:
PC50 Engagement Report - Issues and Opportunities for the Rural and Residential Review(PDF, 1MB)
Plan Change 50 Reporting
Phase 2 Reporting:
Phase 1 Reporting:
• Residential Character Assessment
• Rural Land Use Assessment Report(PDF, 8MB)
• Review of Rural and Residential Resource Consent Applications(PDF, 712KB)
• Upper Hutt PC50 Geotechnical Assessment(PDF, 201MB)
• Upper Hutt PC50 Status Quo Economic Cost Benefit Analysis(PDF, 1MB)
• 2019 Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessment (2019 HBA)
Feedback on draft PC50 proposals was open from 23 July until 5 September 2021. The next opportunity for public feedback will be in mid-2022.
The E-Panel is a group that's intended to provide opportunities for interested community members to provide input and to be kept up to date with how the plan change processes over time. The group will be e-mailed questions that go beyond the scope of the wider consultations and will help inform the questions we ask during public consultation.
The Focus Groups will help us to identify issues with our existing plan, and look at opportunities to meet the direction set by our strategies and other regional and national policy. The groups will help test ideas before the wider community is engaged.
We have set up two groups of approximately 8 members; one focused on the rural areas, and one focused on the urban residential areas. We expect the groups to meet every couple of months.
The groups are intended to represent the community and include a mix of backgrounds, ages, genders, experiences and viewpoints in order to provide for a range of lived experiences in Upper Hutt and diversity in people from different geographic areas.
For more information, please see our Terms of Reference(PDF, 213KB).
Rural Focus Group:
- November Meeting 2021(PDF, 140KB)
- July Meeting 2021(PDF, 150KB)
- March 2 Meeting 2021(PDF, 607KB)
- March 1 Meeting 2021(PDF, 216KB)
- February Meeting 2021(PDF, 130KB)
- September Meeting 2020(PDF, 96KB)
- August Meeting 2020(PDF, 389KB)
- July Meeting 2020(PDF, 133KB)
- January Meeting 2020 (PDF, 116KB)
- October Meeting 2019(PDF, 122KB)
- November Meeting 2019(PDF, 164KB)
Residential Focus Group:
We’re going through a ‘rolling review’ of our District Plan. This means it is reviewed by chapter or by issue, instead of the entire plan at once.
Plan Change 50 is the review of the Residential and Rural chapters. The plan change will review the policies and rules about how land within these zones can be used and developed in the future. We need to make the best use of the land available, and ensure that it helps create vibrant and healthy communities.
We’ll be looking at things like:
- Enabling different types of housing
- Subdivision sizes
- Building heights and densities
- Family flats
- Outdoor space requirements
- At home businesses
- Zone types and boundaries
Where we are at, and what's next?
Large scale reporting was completed in 2019 in order to identify what issues currently exist and what opportunities may assist us in addressing these issues. Community focus groups have also been established to better understand the implications of reporting conclusions at the local level, whether or not this accurately reflects their understanding of the environment, and what other problems and solutions they believe exist.
The identified rural and residential Issues and Opportunities captured the conclusions of these discussions and reports, and summarises the issues and opportunities identified to date. We sought your feedback over March-May 2020 on whether you believe this accurately reflects the current issues for rural and residential areas and the opportunities that exist to secure their future. This period of engagement represented the first phase of public engagement on Plan Change 50 and helped direct what outcomes the community wanted for rural and residential areas and how this should be achieved. A copy of the summary of feedback we received on Issues and Opportunities can be found here.(PDF, 1MB)
The next phase of public engagement sought to articulate these intended outcomes in our Strategic Objectives and Policies. Two papers were released on 30 September 2020 to seek public feedback on these, closing on 2 November 2020. Feedback on these well help to direct the finalising the core objectives that will direct all associated rules and zoning for rural and residential areas. A copy of the summary of feedback received on Strategic Objectives and Polices can be found here.
A full draft of the plan change was publicly released for feedback in mid-2021. This details a full suite of objectives, provisions, and zoning for public feedback. Feedback on this will influence the final proposed plan change, which is anticipated to be released for public consultation in mid-2022.
Once the changes are developed, the process becomes more formal and is prescribed by the Resource Management Act 1991. Further information about the formal Resource Management Act can be found on the Ministry of Environment website.
For more information or to speak to a planner about this work:
P: +64 4 527 2169
Frequently asked questions
How long will the Plan Change take?
This initial stage of Plan Change 50 is predicted to continue until 2022, when we will transition into the more formal notification stage set out in the Resource Management Act. The timeframes after notification will depend on the submissions we receive.
How can I get involved and provide feedback?
The best way to get involved is to join our e-panel. This panel will be updated throughout the plan change process and will be asked for additional feedback on key topics. You can join our e-panel by e-mailing us at PC50@uhcc.govt.nz