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3.4 Wellington Region

3.4 Wellington Region

3.4.1 Wellington Regional Policy Statement

Greater Wellington Regional Council was provided with a copy of the questionnaire and summary assessment of the Wellington Regional Policy Statement. Whilst keen to provide input, they did not initially have the time to comment on the assessment as they were preparing to notify their proposed Regional Policy Statement. The proposed RPS was notified on 23 March 2009, after the initial assessment was undertaken in early February 2009.  Greater Wellington Regional Council had a preliminary look at the assessment and noted that there were some gaps.  Following the notification of the proposed RPS, the RPS was reviewed and as a result several amended or new provisions were included in the analysis.

3.4.1.1 Context

Greater Wellington Regional Council has a population of approximately 449,000 residents. The population grew 5.9% between 2001 and 2006, although this growth was not evenly spread throughout the region. Wellington City and Kapiti Coast districts experienced the highest growth in the region, with 9.5% and 8.8% respectively, followed by Upper Hutt district with 5.6% growth. Most of the other districts in the region experienced more moderate growth around 2.5%, whilst Masterton district had negligible population change. In 2006, there were approximately 182,000 dwellings in the Wellington region, with a 7% vacancy rate. However as with differences in growth, there are also differences in vacancy rates and housing availability throughout the region.

Greater Wellington Regional Council has a projected income under the 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $233 million, with 32% coming from rates, 47% from government subsidies, 10% from water supply levies, and 11% from other sources.

3.4.1.2 Plan Provisions

The Wellington Regional Policy Statement (RPS) became operative in 1995. A draft RPS was released for submission in March 2008. As the operative RPS is 13 years old, reference has been made to the proposed RPS, which indicates the direction Greater Wellington is moving in terms of regional policy. The following provides a summary of the nature and extent of provisions under the operative and draft policy statement that incorporate and promote the urban design outcomes under the questionnaire.

Amenity
A number of issues, objectives and policies under the operative RPS aim to avoid the adverse effects of development and promote a high quality urban environment.

The proposed RPS also includes provisions to maintain and enhance urban vibrancy and vitality and to employ regional urban design principles.

Commerce
The operative RPS has no relevant provisions. The proposed RPS includes an objective and policy promoting mixed uses and higher densities around centres.

Choice
The operative RPS includes an objective and policy for the enhancement of public access to the coast, but not public spaces more generally. An issue identified under the operative RPS is the inefficiencies associated with low density development, but there are no objectives or policies to address this issue.

The proposed RPS promotes higher density development and mixed uses around centres, as well as
integrating development with transport to improve efficiency.

Custodianship
Both the operative and proposed RPS includes policies which require the consideration of energy efficient building design and the adoption of renewable energy. A number of policies address hazards, including sea-level rise, and the importance of considering hazards in development planning. However, the operative RPS does not include policies on water saving, noise, crime prevention through environmental design or low impact stormwater. The proposed RPS does include provisions addressing efficient water use.

Collaboration
The operative RPS has no relevant provisions relating to collaboration. The proposed RPS includes a policy for engaging tangata whenua and the community on protecting heritage.  Collaboration is identified as one of the regional urban design principles under Appendix 3 of the proposed RPS, where it is noted that quality urban design requires good communication and coordination between central and local government, professionals, transport operators, developers and users.  However, no specific guidelines are provided for undertaking collaboration.

Character
The operative RPS has policies for maintaining and enhancing water quality and avoiding adverse effects of use and development on water bodies. The RPS also includes policies requiring the protection of significant landforms from inappropriate use and development. The loss of indigenous vegetation is identified as an issue.  However, no objectives or policies are provided to address it. There are no provisions relating to retaining or promoting a sense of place, or to ensure new development fits in with the existing environment.

The proposed RPS includes similar provisions, but has a greater extent of relevant provisions.

Heritage
The proposed RPS includes a number of provisions providing for the identification and protection of historic heritage, and management of effects on historic heritage.

Open Space
There are no relevant provisions under the RPS, or proposed RPS.

Connectivity
Greater Wellington Regional Council has draft walking and cycling plans, but no specific provisions in the RPS to promote non-vehicular modes of transport. The RPS does recognise the issue of low density development leading to inefficiencies in public transport, and there is an objective and policy relating to the promotion of an effective transport system.

As mentioned above, the proposed RPS promotes higher density development and mixed uses around centres and regional focus areas, as well as integrating development and transport to improve efficiency.

Urban Growth
There are no relevant provisions under the operative RPS.

The proposed RPS includes objectives and policies promoting compact urban form, integrated development and transport, higher density development around centres and regional focus areas, and achieving urban design principles. The proposed RPS also promotes the use of structure plans for major developments.

3.4.1.3 Summary

As can be expected from a regional policy document, the Wellington RPS does not include objectives and policies on specific urban design methods, and takes a higher level strategic approach to policy. For example, the RPS includes objectives and policies for avoiding adverse effects of developments and promoting a high quality urban environment, but does not include specific guidance on issues such as building design or large format retail, which are more appropriately dealt with at the city/district level.

Under the Wellington Regional Policy Statement, 22% of the questionnaire sub-criteria are addressed through the Plan provisions.  This increased to 29% under the proposed RPS. The following graphs illustrate the proportion of those sub-criteria for which the number of relevant provisions under the operative and proposed RPS was high, medium or low, or for which there were no relevant provisions.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative RPS

The graphs show the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Greater Wellington 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 78% of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.  Twenty two percent of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 14% at a low weighting, 6% at a medium weighting, and 2% at a high weighting.

Extent of relevant provisions in proposed RPS
The graph of relevant provisions in the RPS with plan changes included shows that 69% of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.  Thirty one percent of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria. These are addressed as follows: 19% at a low weighting, 10% at a medium weighting, and 2% at a high weighting.

The graphs above show that the proportion of sub-criteria which are addressed to a medium or low extent increases under the proposed Regional Policy Statement.

Some assessment criteria are well covered under the operative and proposed RPS, including amenity, coastal access, energy efficiency, hazards, and protection of urban waterways and significant landforms. However, there are a number of gaps under open space, choice, collaboration and heritage. Gaps include:

  • few minimal for addressing open space or street design
  • no mention of design measures to ensure efficient use of other resources such as water
  • minimal provisions addressing heritage
  • no provisions addressing open-space
  • no provisions addressing collaboration.

The proposed RPS does, however, include objectives and policies to promote mixed uses, and strategic increases in densities around centres, as well as objectives and policies for the identification and protection of historic heritage, and for collaboration, thus addressed some of the gaps that were present in the operative RPS.

3.4.2 Wellington City District Plan

Wellington City Council has reviewed and verified the questionnaire and summary assessment of the Wellington City District Plan. Council was generally in agreement with the assessment, but recommended several additions, including a plan change which had not been assessed initially. These comments have been addressed.

3.4.2.1 Context

Wellington City Council is a metropolitan council with a population of approximately 190,500 residents. The population grew 9.5% between 2001 and 2006.  Along with strong population growth, Wellington has also experienced a trend towards inner city living. This has produced challenges for the Council in terms of managing the pressure for development, while still preserving the values, character and environment of Wellington City. Issues of living costs, noise, housing affordability and building design and quality have been key issues facing Wellington City. The Council has taken measures to address urban growth by introducing greater restrictions on residential infill housing, and is developing strategies to target residential growth in and around centres with improved infrastructure and public transport access. The Council has a projected income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $319 million. This is a per capita income of $1674.  Sixty-three per cent of that incomes comes from rates, 23% from user charges, and 14% from other income sources including leases, dividends, housing grants, and petrol tax.

3.4.2.2 Plan Provisions

The Wellington City District Plan became operative in 2000. Under part 2 of the Plan there are a number of design guides that are incorporated into the planning provision through the assessment criteria. There are a number of proposed plan changes containing relevant urban design provisions, including Proposed Plan Change 43 (Heritage Provision Review); proposed Plan Change 45 (Urban Development Area and Structure Plans); proposed Plan Change 46 (Subdivision Design Guide Review); proposed Plan Change 48 (Central Area Review); proposed Plan Change 52 (Suburban Centre Amendments); and proposed Plan Change 56 (Infill Housing Development). 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 outcomes under the questionnaire.

Amenity
A number of objectives, policies and rules restrict the effects of developments which could adversely affect the amenity of an area (e.g. controls on noise, sunlight access, wind). Different standards apply to different zones. A wide variety of design guides provide guidance to retain amenity standards when designing new developments. These include broad design guides, as well as area specific character area design guides.

New central area provisions introduced under Plan Change 48 are similar in intent to those under the Operative Plan. The main change with regard to amenity is the introduction of controls on infill housing in residential areas under Plan Change 56.  These controls aim to avoid poor quality design for infill housing which can adversely affect residential amenity. Plan Change 56 also introduces a residential design guide and changes to a revised subdivision design guide, which both provide design guidelines to encourage new developments to maintain the amenity of an area.

Commerce
The Plan provides for mixed uses, especially in the central and suburban centre zones, not through specific mixed-use provisions, but by allowing a wide range of activities so long as the meet the activity standards for retaining amenity values. Developments in the central area are also guided by the central area, wind, and crime prevention design guides, which provide guidelines for improving people’s experience of the urban environment. Specific provisions including controls on sunlight access to public spaces, verandas and display windows, also work to improve the pedestrian environment in the inner city by providing shelter, retaining a human scale, and avoiding blank street level façades. New central area provisions introduced under Plan Change 48 are similar in intent to those in the Operative Plan, but with expanded policies providing greater detail and guidance on the Plan's vision for the inner city.

Appropriate mixed-uses are provided for in the residential area, including home-based businesses, and childcare centres. There are no controls on large format retail developments in any zone. A notable addition under Plan Change 52 is the inclusion of restrictions on retail gross floor area in suburban centres, effectively providing a control on large format retail developments. Plan Change 45 introduces controls on large format retail developments to avoid affecting town centres, and also includes a policy promoting mixed integrated uses.

Choice
The Plan requires that open space is provided for multi-unit developments. However, there are no policies linking provision of open space with an ability to increase densities. It is more focused on retaining amenity and avoiding over development. There are no specific provisions encouraging higher densities around centres, or specific provisions about housing types.  However a variety of housing types are provided for under the general provisions of the zone chapters, including apartments in the inner city, and multi-unit, infill and single dwelling residential sites, so long as activity standards are met. Plan Change 56 identifies multi-unit developments as more than three residential dwellings on a site. A multi-unit development is subject to the residential design guide, which provides a higher level of control on the design of the development and its setting, than for say, a single dwelling development.

Permitted activity standards provide for different height limits in each zone, with taller buildings provided for in the inner city, and greater restrictions on height in the outer residential area. Where permitted heights are exceeded, the Council retains discretion over building design and appearance.

Limits on car parking provisions in the inner city are provided to reduce commuter demand and visual effects.

Policies promoting accessibility for public space are provided. There are no rules but the national standard access design criteria are referred to.

Change 56 introduces rules setting out requirements for open space provisions in the residential area, with their design guided by the residential design guide. New subdivision controls are also introduced under Plan Change 56 and a revised Subdivision Design Guide (Plan Changes 46 and 56). Controls on building bulk in the central area are introduced in conjunction with amended height rules under Plan Change 48. Under the residential design guide, developments are to comply with the Code of Practice access provisions. Plan Change 45 encourages a range of residential densities.

Custodianship
There are no specific provisions on renewable energy, water saving, or low impact stormwater. The District Plan does however, include design guidelines to maximise sunlight access, and provisions to avoid shading. Noise is addressed well under the Plan, with varying noise limits for different zones, and requirements for acoustic insulation for noise sensitive activities in proximity to the port, and in the inner city.

Objectives and policies under the Plan promote using design to improve safety, and specific guidelines for achieving this are provided in the crime prevention design guide, which focuses on surveillance ability, openness, and maintenance in designing buildings, streets and public places.

With regard to hazards, the Plan objectives and policies focus on avoiding the impacts of hazards, with rules relating to hazardous substances, wind, fault lines and flooding. There is no mention of climate change.

There are objectives and policies promoting health and safety in design, although there are no rules. However, guidelines in the multi-unit design guide do recognise the link between building design and occupant health.

There are a number of gaps in the Plan with respect to custodianship. These include no consideration of ongoing building and street maintenance, no structure planning provisions, no provisions about the relationship of residential buildings to the street, and no mention of public/private partnerships.

Plan Change 48 incorporates new policies promoting the inclusion of efficient and renewable energy in building design in the central area, and encouraging the utilisation of natural light. The residential design guide and revised subdivision design guide also provide guidance on incorporating energy efficient designs and enhancing environmental performance. Under Plan Change 48 new central area policies are included to avoid development of vulnerable activities in hazard areas.

Collaboration
The District Plan is particularly light on provisions relating to collaboration. There are two specific policies requiring public participation on waterfront development decisions, and consultation with iwi where listed items of significance to Maori are affected. The Plan changes do not introduce any new provisions.

Plan Change 45 introduces the Lincolnshire Farm Structure Plan, which has partnership in development as one of its core principles.

Character
A number of objectives and policies focus on enhancing and maintaining urban character and form. Under the Plan, specific character areas have been identified, and design guides have been developed to guide development in these areas in order to retain their special character (e.g. Thorndon character area design guide). Other general design guides (including multi-unit, central area, and subdivision) include objectives and guidelines which promote the retention of an area’s existing character and sense of place by avoiding inappropriate developments. These design guides and provisions also aim to ensure that new developments fit in with their surroundings.

There are no provisions under the Plan to promote (rather than retain) a sense of place. However, objectives and guidelines under the subdivision and central area design guides discuss the development and promotion of character in new developments.

There are residential area objectives and policies for the identification and protection of important landforms, and provisions under the subdivision design guide, but no provisions under the other zones. Plan Change 45 requires developments to fit in with natural features. Coastal waters are identified in all zones for protection and enhancement, though other water bodies are not. Indigenous vegetation is not specifically protected.  However, listed trees are afforded protection under the heritage provisions.

Change 48 introduces more central area policies relating to retaining character, as well as the inclusion of rules controlling building mass, these provisions also relate to encouraging new developments to fit in with their surroundings.

The residential design guide and revised subdivision design guide provide guidance for creating/promoting a sense of place in new developments, and new central area provisions under Plan Change 48 focus on promoting a sense of place in the Lambton harbour area specifically, as well as in waterfront developments.

Heritage
A wide variety and high number of buildings, objects, areas, trees and areas of significance to Maori, are listed under the Plan, with objectives and policies aiming to avoid the loss of their heritage values. There are no rankings of the heritage significance of the different items on the list. More detailed information on the listed heritage items is provided in the Council’s Cultural Heritage Inventory, and there is a Built Heritage Incentive Fund, which makes funds available to owners of listed heritage buildings.

The provisions under the Plan aim to maintain heritage values whilst still allowing for their use and for minor alterations, with stricter controls on major alterations, removal or demolition.

Plan Change 43, provides specific activity controls for the different categories of listed items (areas, buildings, trees, sites of significance to Maori) and controls on signs that could affect heritage values of listed items. The objectives and policies promote the sustainable use and conservation of historic heritage.

Open Space
There are a limited number of objectives and policies relating to maintaining and enhancing open space areas. The subdivision design guide provides guidance on the development of public space in terms of amenity, and the Te Ara Haukawakawa design guide provides guidance for open space development within that area.

There are only limited provisions relating to street design in the Plan, with a central area policy and rule protecting sunlight access to public spaces. The crime prevention design guide provides extensive guidance for street and open space design to improve safety and reduce crime risk. The subdivision design guide also provides guidance on street design in new subdivisions, and the code of practice provides detail on amenity street planting.

There are no traffic calming provisions or low impact stormwater provisions under the Plan. The code of practice does look at the use of open spaces for stormwater retention.

There are no provisions regarding clear public/private boundaries. There are restrictions on fence height in residential areas (2 metre maximum). However, this is addressed as an amenity issue.

The residential design guide (Plan Change 56) and revised subdivision design guide provide guidance for open space in residential developments and also on ways to reduce traffic speeds. Plan Change 48 introduces a greater number of policies and rules to improve the quality of streets in the central area.

Connectivity
Whilst objectives and policies encourage improved access for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles in the residential and central area, there are no specific rules guiding this. The crime prevention design guide provides guidelines to improve the safety and quality of streets and open spaces, through the design of those spaces and the adjoining buildings, these measures also aim to encourage pedestrian access by making public spaces and access paths more inviting. There are no provisions relating to physical activity in the Plan.

The revised subdivision design guide (Plan Change 46) provides guidance on access and interconnection, as well as methods to reduce traffic speeds through design, there are no additional rules proposed by the Plan changes however. Plan Change 45 includes a policy for ensuring compact well connected neighbourhood centres.

Urban Growth
There is one policy and objective under both the residential and suburban centre chapters, encouraging development within existing urban boundaries, but there are no rules to enforce this. Urban growth is not comprehensively addressed under the Plan. The Council has, however, produced a number of discussion documents on strategic intensification of development around town/suburban centres and around key transport routes.

Plan Change 45 introduces a number of new provisions relating to urban growth and structure plans, including policies for identifying areas for new development, and requiring structure plans for their development.

3.4.2.3 Summary

The Operative Wellington City District Plan has a relatively high number of urban design provisions. Under the Operative District Plan, 69% of the questionnaire sub-criteria are addressed through the Plan provisions, and this increases to 81% when plan changes are included. The following graph illustrates the proportion of those sub-criteria for which the number of relevant provisions (including under the plan changes) was high, medium or low, or for which there were no relevant provisions.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative RPS

The graphs show the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Wellington City 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 69% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 31% at a low weighting, 23% at a medium weighting, and 15% at a high weighting.  Thirty one 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 81% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 31% at a low weighting, 29% at a high weighting, and 21% at a medium weighting. Nineteen percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

The above figures show that plan changes currently proposed by Wellington City Council have significantly increased the number and extent of urban design provisions in the District Plan.

The urban design outcomes that are well provided for within the District Plan include amenity, commerce, choice, and heritage. In general the Plan is not overly prescriptive and allows for a wide range of activities, so long as activity standards are met.

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

  • no water saving or low impact stormwater design rules or guidelines
  • no provisions addressing ongoing maintenance requirements for buildings and spaces
  • a lack of protection for urban water bodies other than the coastal environment
  • limited provisions for design, maintenance and enhancement of open space, except for provisions in the crime prevention design guide.

The various plan changes to the Plan have improved and extended the number of provisions under the Plan promoting urban design principles, and filled some of the gaps existing under the Operative Plan, as discussed under the summaries for each criterion. Overall, the Wellington City District Plan provides comprehensive urban design provisions and a wide number of design guides.

3.4.3 Kapiti Coast District Plan

Kapiti Coast District Council has reviewed and verified the questionnaire and summary assessment of the Kapiti Coast District Plan.  They were generally happy with the audit and made a number of suggestions such as having more references to design guides.  The majority of changes requested were incorporated into this report. 

3.4.3.1 Context

The Kapiti Coast District Council is a provincial council with a resident population of approximately 47,000. The population grew 8.8% between 2001 and 2006. Up until recently the district had one of the highest numbers of new dwellings built in New Zealand, most of which have been built as part of greenfield development rather than backyard infill. Continued demand for new residential and rural residential properties has put pressure on both the provision of appropriate land and infrastructural services.  The Council also has approved plans to upgrade all of its town centres incorporating low impact development and urban design principles.  This was in response to community demand for improvements and raised expectations.  The Council has limited resources to cope with the multitude of demands facing a relatively new district.  The Council has a projected income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $49.8 million. This is a per capita income of $1078. Rates account for 71% of the Council’s income, and other activities including user charges, petrol tax, vested assets, and subsidies account for the other 29%.

3.4.3.2 Plan Provisions

The Kapiti Coast District Plan was made operative in 1999. Relevant plan changes include proposed Plan Change 72a (Wharemauku); proposed Plan Change 74 (Raumati Town Centre); proposed Plan Change 75 (Water Demand); proposed Plan Change 78 (Large Format Retail); and proposed Plan Change 79 (Waikanae North Urban Edge, Low-Impact Urban and Eco-Hamlet Areas). 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 outcomes under the questionnaire.

Amenity
The provisions are general in nature with a number of objectives and policies promoting the retention of amenity values.  The corresponding development standards are minimal and relate to minor amenity enhancement provisions such as landscaping. The plan changes on the other hand introduce specific references to urban amenity such as referring to active building frontages in the explanation to existing amenity objectives and policies and specific rules to promote urban amenity (building and car park design in the main commercial centre).  These plan changes follow extensive community consultation as part of the development and implementation of the LTCCP.  The changes reflect comments made during the consultative process to improve the urban design standards in town centres. 

Commerce
There are comprehensive provisions for mixed-use development and design controls.  There are the whole suite of provisions from issues, objectives, policies, rules and standards and design guides included in the District Plan.  The plan changes for town centres include additional provisions to enhance the shopping, working and living experience in town centres.

On the other hand there are limited controls on large format retail in the Operative District Plan except in the Industrial/Service zone where there are specific limitations which aim to limit these to DIY stores.  Following the adoption of the Kapiti Retail Study, Plan Change 78 was introduced to manage the location of large format retail and improve the design of these centres.  The full range of large format retail is considered, and different standards apply to different zones.  The Plan change includes new objectives, policies and rules and standards.  Home occupations are also provided for.  In summary, the urban design provisions for town centres and local commerce are well provided for. 

Choice
The District Plan provides for a variety of housing types and densities in the commercial and residential zones.  There are no minimum lot sizes in commercial/retail zones and the residential subdivision standards require a variety of lot sizes in larger subdivisions and provide for non-notified medium density housing around town centres/transport nodes.  There are also comprehensive design guides which are embedded in the District Plan.  This includes the residential subdivision and medium density housing guides. There are gaps such as in rewarding the provision of open spaces with increased density and not managing carparking to encourage walking and cycling. However, overall the Plan enables the provision of a variety of section sizes and house types.  Plan Change 79 Waikanae North Urban Edge, Low-Impact Urban and Eco-Hamlet Areas introduces a framework to enable low impact urban development via a structure plan and rezoning process.  The new policy outlining what is required in any zone change reinforces choice with the requirement that a mix of housing types and density be provided.

Custodianship
The Plan provides for many of the urban design outcomes in relation to custodianship.  Some of these however only relate to specific areas such as the requirement for solar hot water systems at Ferndale and the installation of water saving areas in land recently rezoned from rural to residential.  Noise mitigation standards for noisy activities are provided for but there is no provision for noise mitigation for residential activities other than in relation to the airport and SH1 for apartments in town centres.  This has been rectified to some degree in one of the Plan changes providing for mixed uses in Raumati town centre.  Plan Change 75 also provides for water management through a requirement to install rain water tanks or grey water systems for all new and relocated dwellings.

Many of these provisions i.e. requirements for solar hot water systems, thermal insulation and water saving devices would normally be covered by the Building Act/Code.  Whether or not it is appropriate to provide for these in an RMA planning documents is the subject of much debate but is an issue which is beyond the scope of this report.  It is important, however, that these types of provisions are recorded as part of the audit of RMA planning documents.

There is an emphasis in the Plan to encourage subdivision and development that provides for low impact development and design to reduce crime.  This is via rules which provide Council with control over the design of roads and subdivisions and the use of the medium density housing guide and residential subdivision guide. Apart from the maintenance of the ongoing care and maintenance of buildings where there are no rules/standards, the Plan provides for a fairly comprehensive range of provisions which provide for custodianship.

Collaboration
Involvement of communities via the subdivision design process is encouraged through the design and review process.  The residential subdivision guide encourages involvement of the community in the subdivision design process.  While having limited statutory weight, it does allow Council officers to encourage developers to involve the community in larger subdivisions.  Wider consultation can happen by default where written consents are sought to enable the subdivision to be processed on a non-notified basis.  This may or may not involve the wider community.

However, Plan Change 79 Waikanae North Urban Edge, Low-Impact Urban and Eco-Hamlet Areas however introduces a policy to require a high level of community participation at the rezoning stage.  On balance there is a lack of provisions to encourage quality urban design through collaboration. This reflects that a lot of these activities are pursued through non-regulatory processes.

Character
There are no provisions which promote an area's ‘sense of place’.  In the commercial areas, there are some provisions which promote the retention of ‘main street’ and this has been reinforced through plan changes relating to a number of the town centres and in Otaki the review of residential subdivision provisions aim to retain the low density character of the town except within easy walking distance of the town centres.  The extent of plan provisions, including design guides to require identification, maintenance and protection of natural values on site on the other hand are extensive.  This reflects the Plan which has more emphasis on protecting natural values than urban amenity values in the built environment. 

Heritage
Generally there is a very extensive level of regulatory and non-regulatory provisions which maintain, protect and enhance heritage values through the whole spectrum of planning provisions and non-regulatory provisions such as rates relief.

Open Space
All open space urban design outcomes are provided for in the District Plan.  This includes the provision of a comprehensive subdivision and development design framework supported by objectives, policies, rules, standards, guidelines and the design and review process.  A key part of the Plan is the inclusion of the “Subdivision and Development Principles and Requirements” which requires careful consideration of the design of open spaces, streets and the construction of low impact stormwater devices which incorporate reserves and open spaces.  In support is the residential subdivision guide, which provides practical examples of best practice design of roads and open spaces.

Connectivity
All criteria under connectivity are provided for in the District Plan.  This includes the provision of a comprehensive subdivision and development design framework supported objectives, policies, rules, standards, guidelines and the design and review process.  As with Open Space a key part of the Plan is the inclusion of the Subdivision and Development Principles and Requirements which requires careful consideration of the design of streets and the provision of walkways and cycleways.  Proposed Plan Change 79 heavily reinforces connectivity through the introduction of a specific policy that requires the provision of multi-modal transport and the requirement to provide for connectivity with the road network.

Urban Growth Management
There is only one reference to urban growth management in the District Plan and the provision of urban development within an area identified in the 2007 Development Management Strategy.  This is an area located within Waikanae North future low impact urban area.  Proposed Plan Change 79 provides restrictions on rural subdivision until the land is rezoned via a structure plan process.  There are no provisions that require the reuse of existing sites/buildings or collaboration with the region and territorial local authorities.  In summary the District Plan urban growth management is only partly provided for in one area of the district. 

3.4.3.3 Summary

Overall, the Kapiti Coast District Plan provides for the majority of the assessment criteria under the urban design outcomes, with 71% of sub criteria addressed under the operative District Plan, and 81% addressed when the plan changes are taken into account.

Extent of relevant provisions in operative RPS

The graphs show the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Kapiti Coast 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 71% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 33% at a low weighting, 21% at a high weighting, and 17% at a medium weighting.  Twenty nine 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 81% of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 37% at a low weighting, 25% at a high weighting, and 19% at a medium weighting. Nineteen percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

The Plan does in places provide a one rule fits all.  Recent plan changes are addressing this issue with urban design provisions and associated guidelines being place based targeting specific areas. 

Although the Kapiti District Plan includes a number of objectives, policies and rules relating to amenity, they are general in nature and do not specifically provide for urban amenity.  The plan changes relating to town centres however, recognise the importance of urban amenity in town centres and provide for specific urban design standards with the aim to improvement the design of buildings and public areas.  

There are comprehensive provisions which provide for mixed-use development and with the introduction of town centre plan changes there are specific provisions which aim to improve the urban design of town centres.  Likewise, the management of large format retail is well provided for by proposed Plan
Change 78.

The District Plan provides for a variety of housing types and density in commercial and residential zones.  The Plan provides for the assessment criteria under open space and connectivity criteria through the subdivision and development design process and associated rules, standards and design guides. Retention of character, in particular natural character, is well provided for as is heritage and custodianship.

There are however minimal provisions relating to collaboration.