Monday, July 15, 2024

Building heights to climb in Mt Maunganui

RMA Reform Minister, Chris Bishop, has released his decisions on elements of Tauranga City Council’s Intensification Planning Instrument.

Recommendations were referred to the Minister after the Council rejected two made by the Independent Hearings Panel.

“I was asked by the Tauranga City Council to reject two recommendations made by the Panel relating to permitted building height limits and zoning in Mount Maunganui North, and a permitted building height limit in a specific part of the City Centre Zone, known as Area F,” Mr Bishop says.

“Tauranga City Council’s Intensification Planning Instrument, Plan Change 33, was referred to a Panel which reported to the Council in April this year. The Council then rejected two of the Panel’s recommendations, made alternative recommendations, and referred to them to me as the final decision-maker under the Intensification Streamlined Planning Process (ISPP) as set out in the Resource Management Act 1991.

“I have carefully considered this matter and taken advice from officials. The law requires that I only take into account matters that the Panel could have taken into account when making its recommendations. I have not commissioned new evidence. I have made decisions on what was put before me.

“Legally I am required to make these decisions in a timely and efficient manner, and I have done so.”

In relation to the permitted building height limits and zoning in Mount Maunganui North, the Minister agreed with the Council’s alternative recommendation to:

  • Upzone and increase the notified permitted building height from 11 metres plus 1 metre (as specified in the Medium Density Residential Standards) to:
    • 22 metres for residential land within the 400 metre walkable catchment of the town centre, and
    • 16 metres for residential land within the 400-800 metre walkable catchment of the town centre
  • Increase the notified permitted building height limit from 12 metres to 22 metres within the commercial centre.

“However, I note that qualifying matters set by the district plan have the effect of reducing the permitted heights in approximately 66% of the area I have been asked to make a decision on. This effectively means that a large proportion of the permitted heights in residential areas of Mount Maunganui North are 11-12 metres.

“I consider the Council’s alternative recommendation would better give effect to the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD), by providing greater development capacity and enabling the Mount Maunganui North area to change over time in response to the diverse and changing needs of people, communities, and future generations while enabling management of identified cultural landscape, coastal environment, natural character, outstanding natural features and landscape values.

“In relation to the permitted building height limit in Area F of the City Centre Zone, I have accepted the Panel’s recommendation to remove the 16-metre permitted building height limit as I consider the Panel’s recommendation would better give effect to the NPS-UD, by achieving a well-functioning urban environment, and enabling as much development capacity as possible.

“Tauranga City Council will separately continue to progress its variation to Plan Change 33, the Tauriko West Urban Growth Area, to ensure sufficient development capacity is enabled in Tauranga. The Council has until 31 December 2025 to complete the ISPP for the Tauriko West Urban Growth Area.”

The Minister’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.

Read a copy of the decision here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2024-06/Attachment%20A%20Tauranga%20City%20Council%20IPI.pdf

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