National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity ramps up with new tools for councils

MBIE, working with the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), has released a set of new tools to help high- and medium-growth councils to better understand their local development markets for housing and business space.

Property Council member Patrick Fontein, and Auckland Branch President Phil Eaton, have been working with MBIE and MfE to ensure the tools available to councils provide realistic assessments of development ready land for housing and commercial development.  It builds upon the successful ACDC model used for the Auckland Unitary Plan.

According to Di Anorpong, MBIE Manager of Construction and Housing Policy, the new tools should assist councils with their urban planning facilitates sufficient housing and business development capacity to meet their growth needs.

“We’ve provided councils with guidance, and a tool to help determine a housing development’s commercial feasibility, using local market information. This will help planners meet the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS – UDC), which was first announced by the Government in late 2016.”

“High and medium growth councils have to monitor market fluctuations every quarter, and prepare good housing and business development assessments at least every three years. Councils will need to use this information in their planning decisions,” Ms Anorpong says.

“Private sector input into the guidance helps ensure that the assessments councils make factor in the realities of property development and that the capacity provided in plan is actually useful for developers,” says Property Council Chief Executive Connal Townsend.

“Robust and realistic modelling is something Property Council successfully lobbied for in Auckland and we are pleased to see it rolled out nationwide with Property Council member input.  It is a win-win for members and local councils.”

The NPS – UDC requires councils to:

  • Enable enough development opportunities in their resource management plans, supported by infrastructure, for new housing and business space to match projected growth in local areas.

  • Monitor and respond to housing affordability data, building consent data, and prices.

  • Understand what is feasible to develop in current market conditions.

  • Provide excess capacity for development (20 per cent in the short to medium-term; 15 per cent long-term) to promote competition between land owners (high- and medium-growth councils only).

  • Co-ordinate with infrastructure providers and ensure their consenting processes are customer focused.

  • Recognise the national significance of ensuring sufficient development can happen.


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