Four areas of Hamilton are set to receive specialist area plans to help manage the impacts of growth on the neighbourhoods.
Area plans will be prepared for parts of Chartwell, Hamilton East, Five Cross Roads and north of the Central City (around Whitiora, Maeroa and Beerescourt) in a suite of changes to Hamilton City Council’s District Plan.
The government is requiring Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch – the country’s big growth councils – to build up, not just out in response to the housing crisis, Council said in a statement.
In Hamilton, potential changes will enable a minimum of six storeys in areas an easy walk to the central city. It will look at increasing building heights and density in other areas with easy access to jobs, shops, schools and major public transport routes.
District Plan Committee Chair, Councillor Ryan Hamilton said the four areas were expected to be most transformational for the city.
“These neighbourhoods already meet a lot of the requirements set out by central Government and are most likely to be impacted by the changes,” Cr Hamilton said.
“The area plans will allow us to consider the impacts of the changes on the communities that are already there.”
He said the area plans will look at how these activities best fit together and any opportunities and limitations within the neighbourhoods that should be considered as part of the planning process.
“We also want to make sure that we preserve the parts of them that are important to us, for example the heritage areas of Hamilton East.”
Councillor Hamilton said existing residents and property owners in these areas, and the rest of Hamilton, would have plenty of opportunity to be involved in formulating the plans and shaping their neighbourhoods for the future.
“We’re at the start of the process and absolutely want to hear from Hamiltonians to help influence the changes that are happening in their backyard. We know it’s a lot for people to get their heads around and we’re committed to taking everyone on that journey with us,” he said.
As part of the engagement programme, Council is setting up citizen panels to gain a better appreciation of what is important to the communities within the area plan locations and will be running city-wide surveys to gather further feedback later in the year.
A separate plan for Fairfield Enderley is being prepared by the Fairfield Enderley Urban Development Partnership (including Kāinga Ora). While a plan for the central city was completed as part of a separate project earlier in the year. Both will feed into the District Plan change work.
To find out more about the plans and wider District Plan programme, visit hamilton.govt.nz/itsourplace