Hutt at Heart

Population growth, earthquakes and noise

Lower Hutt is about to start planning how the city will look, feel and operate in the decades ahead.

Council is in the initial stage of reviewing the city’s District Plan – the rule book for managing land use and development in the city.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry encourages residents to get involved with the review, and help plan for how our city will look for future generations.

“We all want a city we can be proud of and one that’s well-designed with its people at its heart. It’s vital that we bring people and their ideas together from right across our city to plan Lower Hutt for the decades ahead,” he says.

“This is an important opportunity for people to have their say and ensure that we effectively plan for the issues that face Lower Hutt. Together we can create a district plan that supports our work to address our housing shortage, creates better transport options, and gets the basics right.”

The District Plan guides the development of the city, and controls the scale, form and intensity of subdivisions and development in urban and rural areas. It helps preserve Lower Hutt’s cultural and historic heritage and indigenous plant and animal habitats.

It also helps manage subdivision and development in areas subject to significant risks from natural hazards like slips and flooding. It also deals with issues like noise control.

Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller says the new District Plan will affect every person and every business in the city.

“We have a strong emphasis on hearing from the community on their ideas, the opportunities that they see for our city and any concerns that we need to think about on the way to progress a District Plan that ensures our city and all of its people thrive,” she says.

“This work is critical if we’re to develop a District Plan that truly reflects the unique needs of our people, our land and resources.”

Council is taking a partnership approach with mana whenua throughout the review to ensure their views and aspirations are fully considered.

But there are also challenges to manage. Lower Hutt is growing and changing rapidly.  An analysis of future housing demand for Lower Hutt suggests the city will need to make space for up to another 9600 households in the city between 2017 and 2047. This level of growth needs investment in infrastructure, like three waters, and roading to support it

The city also has to make decisions on how it will preserve its historic and natural heritage and how the city will be designed to cope with the forecast effects of rising sea levels, flooding and earthquakes.

How the District Plan affects you

The review will help decide things that affect you like:

  • It influences housing supply and housing affordability
  • What kind of building can be built next to your house
  • Whether you can subdivide your land, and how close you can build to your boundary
  • What the right housing density is for specific areas of the city
  • How to protect valuable aspects of the city, such as indigenous animal and plant habitats, cultural and historic heritage and significant landscapes and coastlines
  • How to minimise the impacts of climate change, flooding and earthquakes
  • How much noise a factory or other workplaces can make.

For more information, go to: www.huttcity.govt.nz/Your-Council/Projects/district-plan-review/

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