Concern strict urban design rules may limit innovation in Tauranga
Property Council recently submitted to Tauranga City Council on proposed changes to the Operative Tauranga City Plan. While generally we supported the necessary changes, our members also called for a balanced approach that would see innovation encouraged and the broader implications more thoroughly discussed with local property owners and developers.
Plan Change 26: Housing Choice
Plan Change 26 will enable significant intensification opportunities. This includes broad provisions for duplexes and terraced housing development, as well as more targeted provisions for apartment building focused on the Te Papa peninsula.
We strongly support the intent of the Plan Change as it would enable much needed intensification opportunities to accommodate significant population growth in Tauranga. The change is a necessary step to solve the city’s current housing supply constraints by enabling greater housing choice and residential density in existing urban areas.
Our concern, however, is that strict urban design rules may limit innovation, cause development lag and sometimes have the opposite effect than intended. A balanced approach should be taken to ensure innovation can occur to reach good design outcomes.
Plan Change 27: Flooding from intense rainfall
Plan Change 27 introduces a new rule framework to the Tauranga City Plan to manage the effects of flooding from intense rainfall on people, properties and infrastructure. While we support the Council’s overarching intent to manage the effects of flooding from intense rainfall, there are some fundamental issues with the proposal that have to be addressed, particularly around accuracy of the data and modelling.
More guidance should also be provided around implications of the Plan Change for property owners and developers to get a true picture of what the proposed Plan Change means in practice. Given the sensitive nature of this plan change and the careful transitional process that should be applied, we believe that the Council should defer the Plan Change to coincide with the Tauranga City Council’s Long-term Plan 2021-31 review.
Author | Natalia Tropotova
Natalia has a Master of Public Policy from the University of Auckland, a Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Honours) from University of Canterbury with a Major in Education and a Double Minor in Psychology and Media and Communication. She joined Property Council from Auckland Council, with experience working as a Policy Analyst and Senior Advisor to Voter Participation.
As a Senior Advocacy Advisor, Natalia looks after both national workstreams, such as infrastructure funding, as well as leading local advocacy projects for the South Island and Bay of Plenty region.