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3.6 Tasman

3.6 Tasman

3.6.1 Tasman Resource Management Plan

Tasman District Council has reviewed and verified the questionnaire and summary assessment for the Tasman Resource Management Plan.  They requested a small number of changes which have all been addressed.

3.6.1.1 Context

Tasman District Council is a provincial unitary authority with a population of approximately 47,445 (2009 estimate) residents. The population grew 8% between 2001 and 2006. Tasman has seven main urban centres (areas with greater than 1000 residents). The region is vast with an extensive coastline with large areas of indigenous forest.  Fifty-eight per cent of the district comprises national parks.  With the sunny climate, high natural values and a vibrant arts community, the district is popular with both visitors and new residents.  This has and is likely to place pressure on services. 

Richmond is the second largest town and fastest growing urban area in the Tasman/Nelson region.  The Council has identified a need for more residential and business land in and around Richmond.  It has recognised that this should not be provided at the expense of prime agricultural land and that the risk of sea level rise should not be ignored. The Council has identified a network of interlinked greenways and open space opportunities that will open up the edge of the Waimea Inlet to recreational activities.  The costs of servicing the new development is also a major issue which may result in deferment of zoning of land for development until there is provision of essential services. The Council has a projected income under its 2008/2009 Annual Plan of $68 million. This is a per capita income of $1,525.  Sixty per cent of that income comes from rates, 24% from user charges, 5% from investments, and 11% from other sources.

3.6.1.2 Plan Provisions

The Tasman District Council operates a combined district and regional plan, the Tasman Resource Management Plan.  Parts 1 and 2 (Introductory and Land) of the Tasman Resource Management Plan (constituting the District Plan) became operative in November 2008. There are 13 plan changes at various stages, seven of which are relevant to urban design. These plan changes have been incorporated into the text of the Plan, but with notations identifying those that are not yet operative. The following provides a summary of the nature and extent of provisions in the Plan that incorporate and promote the urban design criteria under the questionnaire.

Amenity
The Plan includes a very high number of provisions for avoiding adverse effect of development on amenity. Further guidance is provided in specific subdivision and development design guides.

Commerce
Mixed-use development is provided for in one specific area, but no other relevant provisions promote it in the region. Design controls to enhance the pedestrian experience are included, such as verandahs, and ground floor areas which interact with the street. Large format retail is provided for specifically in the mixed-use business zone, but not outside of that retail area. Home-based businesses are permitted with controls to retain residential amenity.

Choice
The Plan provisions provide for choice in housing type and density, section sizes, height and site coverage. A plan rule and subdivision and development design guide allow for greater density where adequate private outdoor space is provided. The Plan also includes a number of provisions ensuring public access to water bodies, public spaces and esplanade reserves. There are no maximum parking standards, and no provisions promoting higher densities in town centres.

Custodianship
The Plan has a very strong focus on avoiding adverse effects of natural and manmade hazards, including provisions restricting development, or placing controls on development, in hazard prone areas, including avoiding residential development in flood prone or coastal erosion hazard zones, and requiring setbacks. The Plan also includes some provisions encouraging safety through design and this is also addressed through the subdivision and development design guides. A number of provisions and design guide criteria promote the use of low impact stormwater design.

Most sub-criteria under custodianship are addressed by provisions under the Plan, except for any requirement to acoustically treat dwellings in higher noise areas.

Collaboration
The Plan recognises the need for co-ordinated management of cross-boundary issues with other councils.  It includes policies to pursue consistent management of cross-boundary issues, including integrated management of urban development, transportation and amenity services across the Tasman-Nelson boundary. The Plan also includes policies requiring community structure planning exercises to provide for future development in certain specified areas. There is no mention of public/private partnerships.

Character
The Plan provisions and design guide criteria comprehensively address character, with provisions for retaining character through design, form and scale consistency, and promoting and developing an identify in new developments. The provisions also require the maintenance and protection of significant natural features.

Heritage
Under the Plan there are a number of categories for heritage trees and buildings, and criteria are provided for identifying items for scheduling. The Plan provisions provide for the recognition and protection of heritage items, and their surrounds. Rules allow maintenance, but restrict alterations or demolition. Non-regulatory incentives are also identified under the Plan, including financial assistance to owners, a heritage fund, and rates relief.

Open Space
A high number of provisions are provided under the Plan requiring adequate distribution of open space with specific minimum provision requirements, and promoting multi-use open spaces. Open spaces are also to be integrated with stormwater management. One rule relates to attractive streetscapes under the Plan. There are no provisions regarding private/public boundaries.

Connectivity
There are a number of provisions promoting walking and cycling, and these are expanded upon in the subdivision and development design guides. Provisions also focus on reducing traffic speeds and improving the amenity, efficiency and safety of connections. The Plan also promotes the protection of natural corridors (green networks or greenways) and areas for recreational pursuits.

Urban Growth
The Plan includes a high number of provisions for managing urban growth, with a focus on avoiding expansion into hazard prone areas, and providing for expansion and intensification within specified urban boundaries. A policy for providing more development subject to structure planning is included in the Plan. There are no provisions which specifically identify brown field development or collaboration with other councils on growth management.

3.6.1.3 Summary

The Tasman Resource Management Plan has a relatively high number of urban design provisions. Under the District Plan, 88% 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 RPS

Extent of relevant provisions in operative Resource Management Plan
The graph shows the extent to which the sub-criteria have been incorporated in Tasman District Council’s Resource Management Plan.  Eighty eight percent of the relevant provisions address the sub-criteria.  These are addressed as follows: 46% at a low weighting, 28% at a medium weighting, and 14% at a high weighting.  Twelve percent of the relevant provisions do not address the sub-criteria.

The above graph shows that there were a ‘low’ number of provisions in the Tasman Resource Management Plan addressing nearly half of the sub-criteria, and nearly a third of the sub-criteria had a ‘medium’ number of relevant provisions.

All of the main criteria were addressed under the Plan, with the level of inclusion for individual sub-criteria varying. Gaps include no:

  • maximum parking controls
  • specific promotion of higher densities around town and transport centres
  • requirement for dwellings in higher noise areas to be acoustically treated
  • provisions relevant to public/private partnerships
  • definition of public/private boundaries, or encouraging physical activity
  • provisions for the reuse of brownfield sites.