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3.1 Auckland Region

3.1 Auckland Region

3.1.1 Auckland Regional Policy Statement

Auckland Regional Council reviewed the questionnaire and summary assessing the Auckland Regional Policy Statement.  They concluded that it would provide useful input into their current review of the RPS.  No changes were requested.

3.1.1.1 Context

The Auckland Regional Council has a population of approximately 1.3 million. The population grew 12.4% between 2001 and 2006 and is projected to reach 2 million by 2036. The management of this growth is a key concern for the region, and has been addressed through the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy, and the Auckland Region Growth Forums. The Regional Growth Strategy is about planning and managing growth by protecting the character and resources of the region, and by providing opportunities and choices for the future. The use of quality urban design principles and tools is recognised as being important to managing this growth and improving urban areas. The Council has a project income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $317 million. This is a per capita income of $260. Forty-three per cent of that income comes from rates, 8% from user charges, 6% from financial investment, and 43% from other sources.

3.1.1.2 Plan Provisions

The Auckland Regional Policy Statement became operative in 1990. There are two relevant plan changes to the RPS.  These are proposed Plan Change 6 (Giving Effect to the Regional Growth Strategy and Integrating Landuse and Transport Planning) and proposed Plan Change 7 (Metropolitan Urban Limits). The following provides a summary of the nature and extent of provisions under the policy statement and proposed plan changes that incorporate and promote the urban design criteria under the questionnaire.

Amenity
The RPS has a broad issue and objective addressing urban amenity in metropolitan Auckland. Proposed Plan Change 6 introduces additional objectives and policies encouraging attractive urban areas where amenity is maintained and enhanced. Combined, these provide a ‘medium’ number of provisions addressing amenity.

Commerce
There are no relevant provisions under the RPS.

Proposed Plan Change 6 introduces policies encouraging mixed-use development in high density centres and corridors. However, the remainder of the sub-criteria under commerce are not addressed, and overall commerce has a ‘low’ weighting.

Choice
In line with section 6(d) of the Resource Management Act, the RPS requires the maintenance of public access to the coast, and proposed Plan Change 6 requires public access to all urban water bodies. Proposed Plan Change 6 also introduces polices encouraging a variety of housing densities and provision for high density development around town centres and public transport corridors.

The RPS does not include provisions addressing issues of site coverage, height, section size, parking or an association of higher densities with open space requirements. This level of detail would be expected at the district plan level.

Custodianship
The RPS has a strong focus on avoiding or mitigating adverse effects of natural or man-made hazards through the design and location of new developments. The RPS also includes provisions encouraging sustainable energy and energy efficiency through design.

Proposed Plan Change 6 introduces a policy requiring higher building standards and acoustic treatment in high density areas to avoid adverse noise effects on dwellings.

The RPS does not include any provisions relating to water saving, design to increase safety, ongoing maintenance of buildings and spaces, or the impact of design on the health of people.

Collaboration
The RPS has one issue identifying the need for consistency with plans of adjacent councils, but there are no other objectives or policies relating to this, or the other sub-criteria under collaboration.

Character
The RPS includes a number of objectives and policies relating to the protection or enhancement of natural features such as waterbodies, landforms, and indigenous vegetation in development planning. It also has an objective for retaining the character and features of the urban environment.

Proposed Plan Changes 6 and 7 introduce additional issues, objectives and policies relating to retaining or developing a sense of place and urban identity. Each sub-criteria is addressed under the RPS and proposed Plan Changes to varying degrees.

Heritage
The RPS, with additions from proposed Plan Changes 6 and 7, includes a high number of provisions of the identification, protection and management of the region’s heritage resources.

Non-regulatory incentives are not addressed, and the RPS does not identify different levels of heritage protection.

Open Space
The RPS includes an objective and policy related to the provision of esplanade reserves, and proposed Plan Change 6 includes a policy for improving the quality, quantity and distribution of public open spaces.

The open space criterion has a low number of relevant provisions overall, with none addressing streetscape, use of public space for integrated stormwater management, or public/private boundaries.

Connectivity
The RPS includes provisions encouraging integrated land use and transport planning, and enhancement of public access to public spaces and around the city. Proposed Plan Change 6 introduces a number of provisions encouraging safe, attractive cycle and walking routes, as well as transport planning to reduce the use of private vehicles.

The RPS covers most of the sub-criteria, albeit with a low number of provisions, but does not cover green networks, or the encouragement of physical activity. However, through the provisions of better cycle and walking, access is provided.

Urban Growth
The RPS has a high number of provisions addressing urban growth and development, and the need to contain urban growth, through ensuring growth is sustainable and identifying suitable areas for further growth.

Proposed Plan Change 6 introduces a high number of provisions relevant to growth management, with a focus on a compact urban form, integrated land use and transport planning, development of high density centres, and containment of growth within identified areas.

Growth is to be in line with the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy and the Auckland Regional Council is working with district and city councils in the region through the Auckland Growth Forum.

Overall, there is a strong focus on managing the region’s growth under the RPS.

3.1.1.3 Summary

For a regional policy statement, the Auckland Regional Policy Statement has a relatively high number of urban design provisions. Under the operative Regional Policy Statement 35% of the questionnaire sub-criteria are addressed through the plan provisions.  This increases to 47% when plan changes are included. The following graphs illustrate and compare the proportion of those sub-criteria for which the numbers of relevant provisions were high, medium, or low, or for which there were no relevant provisions, under the operative RPS, and the RPS with plan changes included.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative RPS       

The graphs show the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Auckland Regional Council’s operative RPS and the RPS with plan changes included.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative RPS
The graph of the operative RPS shows that 65% of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.  Thirty five percent of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 25% at a low weighting, 6% at a medium weighting, and 4% at a high weighting.

Extent of relevant provisions in RPS with plan changes included

The graph of relevant provisions in the RPS with plan changes included shows that 53% of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.  Forty seven percent of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria. These are addressed as follows: 31% at a low weighting, 10% at a high weighting, and 6% at a medium weighting.

The graphs above show that proposed Plan Changes 6 and 7 to the RPS have not only increased the number of sub-criteria under the questionnaire which are addressed, but have also increased the extent of provisions addressing each sub-criteria.

The urban design criteria that are well addressed under the RPS and proposed plan changes include character, heritage, connectivity and urban growth management.

A number of sub-criteria under amenity, choice, custodianship and open space are addressed through the District Plan. Commerce, collaboration and open space are not covered thoroughly under the RPS. Gaps include:

  • no provisions encouraging a range of sections sizes, building heights, site coverage
  • no provisions encouraging water saving devices, CPTED design principles, the impact of design on health or the ongoing maintenance of buildings and spaces
  • no provisions promoting streetscape design, or the integrated management of stormwater and open spaces.

3.1.2 Manukau City District Plan

Manukau City Council has reviewed the questionnaire and summary assessing the Manukau City District Plan. The Council provided a comprehensive review of the assessment, making a number of changes and additions to the questionnaire and summary, which have been included.

3.1.2.1 Context

Manukau City Council is a metropolitan council with a population of 329,814 residents (2006 Census). The population of the district increased 16.1% between 2001 and 2006. It is expected to grow to 600,000 by 2050. The number of households in Manukau is expected to increase by 37% from 2001 and 2016.  The city is relatively young, is the third largest and fastest growing city in New Zealand.  It is expected that growth pressures will continue for some time. Issues identified are a lack of housing choice and streetscape suburban monotony.  These issues are being addressed in the development of new urban areas such as Flat Bush. Manukau does have large areas of open space and parklands and has a vibrant and diverse community.   The Council has a projected income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $338 million, 53% of this coming from rates, 46% coming from other revenue, and 1% from other gains/losses.

3.1.2.2 Plan Provisions

The Manukau District Plan became operative in 2002. The Plan sets out the resource management objectives, policies and rules to manage the city's natural and physical environment. There are a number of District Plan changes that are of relevance to this study. The following provides a summary of the nature and extent of provisions under the Plan and proposed Plan Changes that incorporate and promote the urban design criteria under the questionnaire.

Amenity
A large number of issues, objectives and policies within the Manukau District Plan aim to retain amenity values within the district. These include provisions relating to height, height in relation to boundary, noise, vibration, yards, private open space, site coverage, lighting etc and have been clubbed as development and performance standards.

The Council has identified its urban design action plan and urban design panel as methods for achieving the amenity objectives.  The District Plan classifies residential areas into eight residential zones (including residential zones with heritage), contains a Design Guide for Intensive Housing and structure plans for several areas that help achieve objectives relating to amenity. Plan Changes 23, 4 and 8 propose to introduce a number of amenity provisions.

Commerce
The Plan provides for mixed uses, not through specific mixed-use provisions, but by allowing a wide range of activities in the business zones so long as they meet the permitted activity standards. Plan Change 12 aims to promote a diverse range of business activities. Plan Change 23 proposes to provide for mixed uses within the Waterside Business Area.

The Plan specifically provides for large format retail activities in the Flat Bush section and assessment criteria include matters relating to urban design issues.  Home-based businesses are provided for in the Plan as a permitted activity in all residential zones.

Choice
There are provisions in the Flat Bush section of the Plan that reward/allow increasing densities in association with open space.  Flat Bush provides for several precincts with a minimum density to be achieved and provides for flexibility to achieve higher densities around open spaces.  These precincts have been identified around open spaces i.e. Barry Curtis Park and green finger network.

The Plan also allows for higher densities in the main residential zone around town centres (Business 2, 3, 4) and around transportation corridors.  This is not related to the provision of open space.  However Chapter 15 – Public Open Space requires – “Neighbourhood reserves shall be a minimum size of 0.2 hectares per 1000 population and shall be within 500m of residential dwellings and shall be integrated with walkways and accessways where possible.”

The Plan includes a number of issues and objectives aimed at preventing the over provision of and poorly designed car parking spaces. However, there are no rules relating specifically to maximum parking standards.

There are no provisions within the Plan that ensure public spaces are accessible by everyone including people with disabilities.  The Plan only provides rules and provisions for design of circulation and parking areas for disabled persons.  In addition to the Plan provisions, am guide, Barrier Free Manukau, provides details on accessibility standards for disabled persons.

There are a number of provisions within the Plan that provide for a variety of housing types and section sizes. Proposed Plan Change 12 introduces a policy aimed at ensuring that new development within town centres provides for a diverse range of residential activities.

There are a number of provisions within the Plan that provide for a variety of permitted maximum building heights and site coverage.  The Plan also specifically provides exemptions for maximum height and site coverage rules for integrated intensive in the main residential zone around town centres (Business 2, 3, 4) and along transportation corridors. 

Custodianship
There are a large number of provisions in the Plan that incorporate/encourage renewable energy sources in subdivision and development. However, there are no specific rules within the Plan that provide for this.

There are no provisions within the Plan that encourage water saving devices within subdivision and development.

There are two provisions within the Plan for the mitigation of noise from infrastructure and from town centres. Plan Change 8 proposes to introduce a rule for activities sensitive to aircraft noise (ASAN).  The Plan contains rules for ASAN’s that are affected by the noise contours from Auckland International Airport.  Flat Bush specifically requires for noise insulation between apartments and other attached dwellings.

There are a large number of provisions within the Plan which encourage incorporating crime prevention through environmental design principles. The Council has a Crime Prevention Action Plan to implement the provisions within the Plan.

The Plan includes a number of rules specifying minimum yard standards. Plan Changes 17, 8 and 4 propose to introduce a number of provisions to consider residential buildings in relation to the street. The Plan requires areas of private open space in the residential zone.  Design Guide for Intensive Housing provides details on yards, setbacks etc.

Collaboration
The Plan provides for public private partnership in the Flat Bush town centre.  It specifically provides for the Council and tangata whenua to co-manage taonga in the Council’s ownership.

Character
There are several provisions within the Plan that aim to retain a ‘sense of place’. Plan Change 12 proposes to introduce a provision which specifically refers to a ‘sense of place’. There are several policies within the Plan that aim to promote a ‘sense of place’ with special emphasis given in the Flat Bush section of the Plan.

The Plan identifies objectives, policies and provisions relating to protection and enhancement of urban waterbodies.

There are several provisions for the identification and protection of distinctive landforms and indigenous vegetation.

Heritage
A high number of objectives and policies which aim to avoid the loss of heritage values are provided for under the Plan. The provisions under the Plan aim to maintain heritage values whilst still allowing for minor modifications. A number of non-regulatory provisions are provided for under the Plan including non-regulatory guidelines, scheduling of waahi tapu and archaeological sites, public acquisition and a heritage strategy.

Open Space
A large number of provisions under the Plan provide for a wide range of reserves. Plan Change 8 proposes to introduce a number of provisions for the development of an open space network in association with the development of the Whitford rural area.

There are several provisions within the Plan that promote better designed streets and streetscape, open space areas associated with stormwater, utilities and streets or clear boundaries between public and private open space. These are covered by way of objectives, polices rules and assessment criteria that guide to achieve the above mentioned urban design issues.

Connectivity
There are a number of provisions in the Plan which promote walking and cycling. A number of methods such as a design code and structure plans with street layouts which achieve high levels of pedestrian and cycle permeability are referred to in the Plan.

Constraints on access points onto the primary road network are included as a rule within the Plan. There are a number of provisions to reduce the level of vehicular traffic and/or speed within the Plan.

There are a number of provisions within the Public Open Space and Flat Bush section of the Plan that facilitate green networks that link public open space or streets and other thoroughfares designed as positive spaces with multiple functions.

Plan Change 19 proposes to provide for motor sport activities at Colin Dale Park.

Urban Growth
A large number of provisions within the Plan address urban growth. Plan Change 12 proposes to introduce a number of provisions for the management of growth in Manukau.

There are no provisions within the Plan that provide for the reuse of brownfield sites or collaboration policy with region and territorial local authorities in relation to growth areas.

3.1.2.3 Summary

The Operative Manukau District Plan has a high number of urban design provisions. Under the Operative District Plan, 88% of the questionnaire sub-criteria are addressed through the Plan provisions. This percentage does not change when relevant plan changes are included.  However, as the following graphs illustrate, the number of sub-criteria with a medium number of relevant provisions does increase, showing a greater depth of urban design provisions.

       

The graphs show the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Manukau District Council’s operative District Plan and the District Plan with plan changes included.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative District Plan
The graph of the operative District Plan shows that 88% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 35% at a low weighting, 29% at a high weighting, and 24% at a medium weighting.  Twelve percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

Extent of relevant provisions with plan changes included
The graph of relevant provisions in the District Plan with plan changes included also shows that 88% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  However, these are addressed as follows: 32% at a medium weighting, 29% at a high weighting, and 27% at a low weighting. Twelve percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

The urban design categories for which all sub-criteria are provided for under the Plan included amenity, commerce, choice, collaboration, character and connectivity.

Most assessment criteria under custodianship, heritage, open space and urban growth are addressed through the District Plan. 

The Plan provides for the following issues under the Flat Bush section of the Plan.  However, there are no city wide provisions:

  • management of large format retail
  • the protection and enhancement of urban water bodies
  • green networks that link public and private open space
  • low impact stormwater
  • secure transport networks and streets.

Gaps in the Plan on a city-wide basis include the following issues:

  • water saving devices
  • different levels of heritage protection
  • integrated stormwater
  • public/private boundaries
  • brownfield development
  • collaboration with other councils on urban growth.

3.1.3 Waitakere City District Plan

Waitakere City Council has reviewed the questionnaire and summary assessment of the Waitakere City District Plan, and noted that some provisions may have been interpreted incorrectly.  They did not request any specific amendments.

3.1.3.1 Context

Waitakere City Council is a metropolitan council with a population of approximately 200,000 residents. The population has grown 10.5% since 2001. The population of Waitakere City is expected to double by 2050.  The city recognises a need for greater local employment, higher density housing in appropriate areas, and efficient use of resources. With most residents in the city reliant on the use of motor vehicles for commuting, and with increased population over time, this is likely to place pressure on the city’s natural and physical resources. The Council has a projected income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $248 million. This is a per capita income of $1240. 48% of that income comes from rates, 4% from assets vested in Council by developers, and 48% from other sources.

3.1.3.2 Plan Provisions

The Waitakere City District Plan became operative in 2003. A number of relevant plan changes have been introduced and incorporated into the Plan, and have addressed issues of growth and transport. The following provides a summary of the nature and extent of provisions under the Plan that incorporate and promote the urban design criteria under the questionnaire.

Amenity
A very high number of provisions under the Plan restrict the effects of development that could adversely affect the urban amenity values of areas. Design guides for apartments and medium density housing provide more specific design guidelines aimed at creating amenity within high density developments and retaining the amenity of the areas in which the development is located.

Commerce
The Plan provides a high number of policies encouraging mixed-use developments, as well as rules and design guides providing design controls on such developments. Design controls are also provided for enhancing the pedestrian environment with weather protection, quality street frontage design, and ground floor display windows providing interaction with the street. Plan rules determine a greater level of Council discretion for large format retail developments, and retail home occupations are restricted to front sites.

Choice
The Plan provisions and apartment design criteria provide requirements for a minimum level of private outdoor space for dwellings. The Plan provisions provide for a range of housing densities and opportunities, as well as building heights and site coverage. Objectives and policies promote higher density development in town centres and transport hubs. The accessibility of public spaces is promoted.

There are no maximum parking design controls.

Custodianship
All sub-criteria are addressed under the Plan, with policies encouraging energy efficiency, renewable energy, water saving design, and minimising waste and stormwater, as well as incorporating low impact stormwater into design. Acoustic treatment is required for residential developments near major infrastructure and in town centres and mixed-use areas.

Policies require developments to address public places, and the impact of design on health is recognised with requirements for private open space in residential developments. The Plan provisions also require that new developments along with open space are maintained.

Collaboration
There are no relevant provisions under the Plan.

Character
A high number of provisions are provided for ensuring development is in keeping with existing character. And a high number of provisions require or encourage the retention of the natural features which contribute to the character of an area, especially in planning new developments and subdivisions. Several provisions also identify the importance of creating an identity and character in new developments.

Heritage
There are a high number of provisions for managing effects on heritage resources, and avoiding adverse effects on them. Council funding is provided to promote heritage protection. It is not stated under the Plan how the scheduled items are identified and categorised.

Open Space
Policies under the Plan aim to provide appropriate public space, meeting recreational and community needs and improving amenity. Policies also contemplate the relationship between open space and the street. There are no rules directly supporting these policies, and no provisions promoting integrated open space and stormwater management, or private/public boundary identification.

Connectivity
Provisions promoting walking and cycling, and safe, attractive pathways are included in the Plan, as well as traffic reduction policies, and maximising connectivity opportunities. Streetscape is given brief consideration. The Plan also promotes the maintenance of green networks providing ecological linkages. The Plan does not specifically promote physical activity but open spaces are identified as being required for both passive and active recreation.

Urban Growth
The Plan includes a very high number of policies for managing urban growth with the goal of having a compact urban form, with intensification in specified areas, restricted peripheral growth, increased densities in new development and expansion in identified future development areas. The use of structure plans to guide future growth is focused on in the Plan, with a number of identified growth areas subject to structure plans and specific controls. There are no general provisions for “brownfield” development.  However, redevelopment and intensification of a former air base is provided for under a structure plan. Collaboration with other councils to manage urban growth is recognised as an issue.

3.1.3.3 Summary

The Waitakere City District Plan has a relatively high number of urban design provisions. Under the District Plan, 86% of the questionnaire sub-criteria are addressed through the Plan provisions. The following graph illustrates the proportion of those sub-criteria for which the number of relevant provisions was high, medium or low, or for which there were no relevant provisions.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative district plan

Extent of relevant provisions in operative District Plan
The graph shows the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Waitakere City Council’s operative District Plan.  Eighty six percent of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 49% at a low weighting, 23% at a medium weighting, and 14% at a high weighting.  Fourteen percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

The above graph show a third of the sub-criteria are ‘high’ or ‘medium’ in the Waitakere District Plan, with over. half of the sub-criteria between 1 and 4 relevant provisions

The following urban design criteria are addressed well under the Plan: amenity, commerce, choice, custodianship, character, heritage, connectivity and urban growth management.

Most assessment criteria under open space are addressed through the Plan. However, there are no provisions relevant to collaboration. Gaps include:

  • no maximum parking controls
  • no provisions relevant to the collaboration sub-criteria: collaboration between disciplines, community engagement, public/private partnerships
  • the methods used for assessing heritage items are not identified under the Plan
  • no integrated management of stormwater and open spaces, and no definition of public/private boundaries
  • no specific provisions encouraging physical activity.

3.1.4 Papakura District Plan

Papakura District Council has reviewed the questionnaire and summary assessment of the Papakura City District Plan, and requested some additions and amendments. A Council spokesperson noted that the Plan is difficult to interpret and that it would have been useful for councils to have been consulted earlier on in the project to guide the assessment of plans. They also questioned the applicability of some of the sub-criteria to the Papakura District.

3.1.4.1 Context

Papakura District Council is a provincial council with a population of approximately 45,000 residents. The population grew 11.1% between 2001 and 2006 and the population is expected to grow by 25% over the next 10 years, creating significant urban growth pressures. The Council has a projected income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $35 million. This is a per capita income of $780. Some of the key pressures, in terms of urban growth and design, facing the Papakura District include achieving:

  • mixed use and higher densities
  • urban redevelopment
  • residential development along the rail corridor and stations
  • residential development on arterial roads
  • business investment in neighbourhood centre developments
  • expansion or intensification of the town centre.

The Council is currently undertaking a revitalisation project of the town centre, which incorporates many of the questionnaire sub-criteria such as pedestrian connectivity, safety and urban amenity.

3.1.4.2 Plan Provisions

The Papakura District Plan became operative in 1999. Proposed Plan Change 10 (Auckland Regional Policy Statement Change to District Plan) is relevant especially in terms of the urban growth management provisions it introduces, proposed Plan Change 12 (Glenora Structure Plan) also brings in new urban design provisions. The following provides a summary of the nature and extent of provisions under the Plan and proposed Plan Change that incorporate and promote the urban design criteria under the questionnaire.

Amenity
The Plan has a very high number of provisions relating to the maintenance and enhancement of amenity in urban areas including residential, inner city and open space areas. The Plan also includes a number of assessment criteria relating to building, landscape and subdivision design and development, as well as specific assessment criteria for various structure plan areas.

Commerce
The Plan has a number of provisions promoting mixed-use zones in urban centres, guided by structure plans. The provisions also allow for home-based business in residential areas. The Plan also includes provisions for the enhancement of the pedestrian experience, and Plan Change 12 introduces some controls on large format retail developments. The commerce criterion generally has a ‘medium’ weighting.

Choice
The Plan includes a number of provisions providing for a variety of housing types and densities, variety of section sizes, building height and site coverage, and provides for higher densities around town centres where it supports walking, cycling and public transport. Proposed Plan Change 10 introduces an objective for achieving quality urban growth through intensification, and Plan Change 12 introduces a number of additional provisions encouraging medium density development.

Overall, the choice criterion is addressed well within the Plan’s provisions, with the only gaps being provisions that specifically reward high density with open space or restrict parking spaces in urban areas.

Custodianship
The Plan includes acoustic design requirements for residential development near major infrastructure, and in mixed-use areas.  It encourages development in town centres to increase safety by providing natural street surveillance and sunlight. The Plan also includes a high number of provisions addressing natural and man-made hazards, and includes rules and design guide criteria requiring minimum private open space provisions in residential developments. The Plan does not include any provisions addressing energy efficiency and sustainability, water saving, or ongoing maintenance of buildings and spaces.

Plan Change 12 introduces additional acoustic requirements, as well as provisions and Design Assessment Criteria relating to crime prevention through environmental design principles and stormwater.

Collaboration
Under the Plan, there are areas identified through the Auckland Regional Growth Forum for future growth, which are to be managed by structure plans. However, there are no provisions under the Plan specifically requiring collaboration with communities or different disciplines, and no provisions which encourage public/private partnership opportunities.

Character
The character criterion is well addressed under the Plan, with all sub-criteria having either ‘medium’ or ‘high’ weightings. The Plan includes provisions promoting the retention and enhancement of character and natural features, as well as the importance of creating a sense of identity in new developments. Design guides and Plan Change 12 provide additional guidance.

Heritage
Except for having no non-regulatory incentives, heritage is well covered under the Plan with a number of provisions for the identification, management and protection of heritage items under the various categories.

Open Space
The Plan has minimum requirements for the quantity of open space to be provided, and provisions which encourage positive streetscape with passive surveillance. The subdivision design guide provides greater guidance for the design of open space in new developments.

Plan Change 12 introduces provisions for the integrated management of stormwater in open space.

Connectivity
The Plan has a high number of provisions promoting design to facilitate cycling and walking, as well as a high number of provisions promoting connectivity, encouraging pedestrian safety, and reducing vehicle traffic and speed through design and calming measures. The subdivision design guide provides additional criteria to improve connectivity within and between new developments.

Plan Change 12 restricts vehicle access onto certain roads, and encourages pedestrian and cycle linkages.

Urban Growth
The Plan has a strong focus on urban growth management, with a number of provisions focused on managing projected population growth. Proposed Plan Change 10 includes a number of objectives promoting a compact, intensified urban form with controlled expansion. A number of areas identified for future growth are to be managed through a structure plan process, and there are a high number of provisions guiding this under the Plan. The Plan and proposed Plan Change 10 require collaboration with Auckland Regional Council and giving effect to the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) and Auckland Regional Growth Strategy.

Plan Change 12 introduces provisions supporting and requiring medium density development in specific areas, as well as including additional structure plan provisions.

Strategic Areas
Under the Plan there are two strategic special purpose areas with only limited design controls, including a Healthcare Servicing Area and an Educational Facilities Zone.

3.1.4.3 Summary

The Papakura District Plan has a relatively high number of urban design provisions. Under the operative District Plan, 75% of the questionnaire sub-criteria are addressed through the Plan provisions.  This increases to 78% when proposed Plan Changes 10 and 12 are included. The following graphs illustrate and compare the proportion of those sub-criteria for which the numbers of relevant provisions were high, medium or low, or for which there were no relevant provisions, under the operative District Plan, and the District Plan with proposed Plan Changes 10 and 12 included.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative district plan

The graphs show the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Papakura District Council’s operative District Plan and the District Plan with plan changes included.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative District Plan
The graph of the operative District Plan shows that 75% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 33% at a medium weighting, 26% at a low weighting, and 16% at a high weighting.  Twenty five percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

Extent of relevant provisions with plan changes included
The graph of relevant provisions in the District Plan with plan changes included shows that 78% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria. These are addressed as follows: 33% at a medium weighting, 25% at a low weighting, and 20% at a high weighting. Twenty two percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria. 


The above graphs show that half of the sub-criteria under the questionnaire have a ‘medium’ or ‘high’ extent of relevant provisions under the District Plan, with slightly more when the proposed plan changes are included.

The urban design outcomes that are well provided for within the Plan include amenity, commerce, choice, character, heritage and urban growth management.

Most assessment criteria under custodianship, open space and connectivity are addressed through the Plan. Collaboration is not covered very thoroughly under the Plan. Gaps include:

  • no maximum parking standards
  • no renewable energy or water saving design rules or guidelines
  • no provisions addressing ongoing maintenance requirements for buildings and spaces
  • no provisions involving the community in decision making, or using private/public partnership though in practice the Council works in partnership with developers on major development projects
  • no non-regulatory incentives to protect or maintain heritage items
  • limited provisions for encouraging green networks, or designing streets to have multiple functions.

Plan Changes 10 and 12 to the District Plan introduce new provisions which expand the extent of urban design provisions under the Plan, and also address some of the gaps in the operative District Plan. They include controls on large format retail, and rules to consider low impact stormwater methods.

3.1.5 Rodney District Plan

Rodney District Council has reviewed and verified the questionnaire and summary assessment of the Rodney District Plan and identified some Plan Changes which needed to be assessed.  These have all been included in the final assessment.

3.1.5.1 Context

Rodney District Council is a metropolitan council with a population of approximately 89,601 residents (2006 Census). Rodney District is one of the fastest growing districts in the country; the population grew 16.5% between 2001 and 2006. The constant increase in new houses and people moving into the district, and the effects of this growth is a key issue for the Rodney District Council. Because of the sustained growth rate, the Council faces challenges in water supply, stormwater and wastewater treatment and disposal and roading infrastructure reaching capacity earlier than expected. The Council has a projected income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $166 million.

The Council has two non-regulatory design guides which are used by developers, and by council planners in assessing applications. These are the Gulf Harbour Design Guide, and Rodney District Development Design Guide.

3.1.5.2 Plan Provisions

In November 2000, the Rodney District Council released its Proposed District Plan which was publicly notified. The Proposed District Plan is a review of the operative Rodney District Plan. It encompasses matters addressed in Plan Changes not yet made operative. There are four relevant plan variations to the proposed Rodney District Plan: Proposed Variation 51 – Special 18 (Gulf Harbour) Zone; Proposed Variation 52 – Silverdale North; Proposed Variation 58 – High Intensity Residential Zone; and Proposed Variation 101 – Orewa. The Council has also prepared two non-regulatory design guidelines to help developers understand urban design principles and translate these into their development schemes. The following provides a summary of the nature and extent of provisions under the Plan and proposed Variations 51 and 58 that incorporate and promote the urban design criteria under the questionnaire.

Amenity
A large number of issues, objectives and policies within the Proposed Rodney District Plan aim to retain amenity values within the District. However, this focus on retaining amenity values is not reflected in the activity rules and standards. Only a small number of rules within the Plan focus on applying different standards (e.g. height in relation to boundary and noise controls) to different zones. The proposed guidelines for the residential section provide some guidance on interpreting rules relating to amenity retention. Proposed Variations 52 and 101 introduce a number of provisions relating to amenity.

Commerce
The Plan provides for mixed uses especially in the mixed business zone, not through specific mixed-use provisions, but by allowing a wide range of activities so long as they meet the permitted activity standards.

Specific provisions, including incorporating outdoor dining areas, windows comprising no less than 40% of the building façade and verandas covering the full extent of the façade provide for the improvement of shopping and walking experience in business zones.

The Plan provides for the management of large format retail activities through the provision of the Silverdale North Large Format Retailing Zone.

Home-based businesses are provided for in the Plan as a permitted activity in all residential zones.

Choice
The Plan does not specifically provide for increasing densities in association with the provision of open space or specify maximum parking standards. The Plan does have provisions requiring public space to be accessible; however, these make no mention of accessibility for everyone, including those with disabilities.

There is only one provision within the Plan that relates specifically to providing for a variety of housing types. A number of section sizes are provided for within the Plan, each zone having a different minimum section size. A number of objectives and policies within the Plan provide for higher density subdivision and development around town centres and public transport nodes. This is also reflected in the provision of different allotment sizes in different zones.

A maximum building height of 9m is provided for in all residential zones. Different maximum building heights are prescribed for each of the business zones. Different site densities are specified for each residential zone allowing for differences in housing density and design.

Variation 101 proposes to introduce a number of provisions relating to the choice sub-criteria.

Custodianship
There are no specific provisions on renewable energy, water saving devices, or low impact stormwater. Noise is addressed under the Plan, with varying noise limits for different zones and specific noise provisions for transport infrastructure and airfields.

Issues and policies under the Plan promote the use of design to achieve safe and secure transport networks and streets. There are no specific rules or design guidelines relating to safe buildings, spaces, places and transport networks.

The Plan considers residential buildings in relation to the street through minimum yard rules for all residential zones.

The Plan has a large number of provisions aimed at avoiding, remedying and mitigating the adverse effects of natural and man-made hazards. These provisions specifically relate to flooding, coastal hazards, fire and erosion. The Plan also includes a provision which specifically relates to climate change.

There is one policy within the Plan relating to the on-going maintenance of buildings. There are a number of issues, policies and rules which consider the impact of design on people’s health. These relate to the provision of private open space and distance between buildings.

There are a number of gaps in the Plan with respect to custodianship. These include no involvement of communities in meaningful decision-making processes and no provisions which encourage public-private partnerships.

Proposed Variation 101 introduces four provisions under the custodianship sub-criteria.

Collaboration
There are no provisions regarding collaboration within the Plan.

Character
There are no provisions within the Plan relating to promoting or retaining a ‘sense of place’.

The Plan has extensive provisions which provide for the protection and enhancement of urban water bodies, the identification and protection of distinctive landforms and the identification, protection and enhancement of indigenous vegetation.

Heritage
A wide variety and high number of buildings, objects, areas and trees are listed under the Plan with objectives and policies aiming to avoid the loss of their heritage values. There are no rankings of the significance of the different heritage items on the list. The provisions under the Plan aim to maintain heritage values whilst still allowing for minor modifications. A number of non-regulatory provisions are provided for under the Plan including financial incentives for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage resources and a heritage assistance fund.

Open Space
There are few provisions within the Plan aimed at providing for open space within the district.

A number of provisions promote better designed streets and streetscape. Proposed Variations 58 and 101 contain additional policies to considering additional development matters and street frontage design.

There are no provisions relating to the provision of open space areas associated with stormwater, utilities or the street. There are no provisions regarding clear public/private boundaries.

Connectivity
Whilst there are a number of objectives and policies regarding provisions which promote walking and cycling, there are few specific rules guiding this. Furthermore, although there are a number of policies restricting access to major roads, there are no rules guiding this. There are few provisions relating to reducing the level of vehicular traffic and facilitating green networks that link public and private open space and there are no provisions to encourage safe, attractive and secure pathways and links between landmarks and neighbourhoods. However, proposed Variation 101 introduces a number of provisions relating to encouraging safe, attractive and secure pathways and links between landmarks and neighbourhoods. Proposed Variation 52 introduces a number of provisions to reduce the level of vehicular traffic and/or traffic speed.

The Plan provides for the design of streets and thoroughfares as positive spaces and providing environments that encourage people to become more physically active. However, there are no associated rules or standards.

Urban Growth
There is one policy and one objective relating to managing urban growth. A number of structure plan areas are identified within the Plan and one chapter deal specifically with structure plans. There are no provisions within the Plan that provide for the reuse of brownfield sites or for collaboration policy with regional and/ or territorial local authorities. Proposed Variation 101 introduces the Orewa East Structure Plan Area.

3.1.5.3 Summary

The Proposed Rodney District Plan has a relatively high number of urban design provisions. Under the Proposed District Plan, 64% of the questionnaire sub-criteria are addressed through the Plan provisions. This percentage increases to 67% when the proposed variations are included. The following graph illustrates the proportion of those sub-criteria for which the number of relevant provisions was high, medium or low or for which there were no relevant provisions under the Proposed District Plan, and with the proposed plan variations included.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative district plan

The graphs show the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Rodney District Council’s proposed District Plan and the proposed District Plan with plan variations included.

Extent of relevant provisions in proposed District Plan
The graph of the proposed District Plan shows that 64% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 34% at a low weighting, 16% at a high weighting, and 14% at a medium weighting.  Thirty six percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

Extent of relevant provisions with plan variations included
The graph of relevant provisions in the District Plan with plan variations included shows that 67% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 31% at a low weighting, 20% at a medium weighting, and 16% at a high weighting. Thirty three percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

The urban design sub-categories that are well provided for within the District Plan include amenity, the management of large format retail, avoidance or mitigation of the effects of hazards, the impact of design on peoples' health, the identification and protection of distinctive land forms and indigenous vegetation and responding to heritage values.

Most assessment criteria under choice, custodianship, character and open space are addressed through the District Plan. However, gaps include:

  • no allowance for increased densities with the provision of open space
  • maximum car parking standards
  • water saving devices or low impact stormwater
  • secure transport networks and streets
  • no public-private partnerships
  • promoting or retaining a ‘sense of place’.

Collaboration, connectivity and urban growth management are not covered thoroughly under the Plan.

The various proposed plan variations to the Plan have increased slightly the number of provisions  under the Plan.