Its about to get easier to build in Tauranga

Wednesday 17 August 2022

It’s about to get easier to build a range of housing options in Tauranga, with the Proposed Plan Change 33 approved on Monday by Council to start public consultation on Saturday, 20 August.

The changes to the Plan are aimed at helping address the shortage of homes by allowing our city grow up as well as out, with a greater choice of housing types.

Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the changes are extensive and are needed to help our city to cater for a growing population.

“We’ve been given strict direction by central Government to enable these changes quickly,” says Anne.

“The proposed plan changes set the city up for managing that growth and ensuring that people have access to the sort of homes that will work for them, be it apartment living or increasing the number of dwellings on existing properties to cater for extended whanau.”

In 2021, Government directed councils of high-growth cities, including Tauranga, to amend their city plans so that they:

allow people to build up to three dwellings of up to three storeys (a height of 11 metres) on most sections in residential zones, without needing to obtain a resource consent

enable higher density housing with more building height around the city centre and town centres across the city, and close to public transport.

Council has responded to this and put together proposed changes that include the government requirements, as well as a suite of changes that align with existing growth plans that have been in progress for some time

“We have presented changes that will better support our community to live well in this city within the tight timeframe we have been given, and we are very conscious going forward of how we can advocate for good urban design with these changes” says Anne. The changes will make it easier for homeowners looking to build or expand and give people access to more types of housing. It also means there could be more multi-storied buildings popping up around neighbourhoods and in the city over time. Changes will be supported by initiatives Council already has underway to manage growth, including public space improvements to create a good urban design (look and feel of streetscapes), managing street parking, and city centre investment that will enable better inner-city living.

Although many of the changes have already been decided by the government, especially for buildings of three storeys or less, there are some things that can be influenced, like what developments of four storeys or more will look like, and where these developments will be located.

People are encouraged to learn more about these changes, and the new allowances for development in their neighbourhood and local centres. Submissions are open until 5pm Friday, 23 September 2022.