In all the fun and fuss over things like the Election, the country’s love affair / hatred of Winston (there is something very 1984 about Winston being the BiG Brother watching over us / controlling our every move), we (well, me) may have taken our eye off the ball. Well, not the ball, but the Hutt. It seems that the Hutt has fully adopted the MDRS changes proposed by the Government, to the extent that all the following things, which were proposed, have now been implemented, and are now operative. This includes some revisions to the Proposed District Plan, and there are many pages that look like this (only usually more words and less diagrams).

Some things were deleted, like these proposals

I would have thought that a diagram like this/these was quite useful. Apparently not. They have been deleted in their entirety. Possibly they may have been replaced by others. Or perhaps not. It is unclear. There was also going to be a zone with a low height setbacks for the Light Commercial zone in Petone, but that appears to have been canned as well. See below.

Key changes recommended under Plan Change 56

Oops – not a height restriction, but a 10m setback requirement has been lifted?
  • Reductions in the size of the High Density and Medium Density Residential Activity Areas in parts of Harbour View, Korokoro, Manor Park, Normandale, and Tirohanga
  • Increases in the size of the High Density Residential Activity Area in parts of Moera and Naenae (long overdue, and already happening)
  • In Eastbourne, Stokes Valley, and Wainuiomata change from High Density Residential to Medium Density Residential but simultaneously apply a higher height limit of 18m (approx. five storeys) and over a wider area (18m in Wainuiomata? That’s tall for a suburb which is currently resolutely just 4m tall…!)
  • Increase the height limit from 22m to 36m (approximately ten storeys) immediately adjacent to the city centre (I really want to see some maps of that – but I can’t get the maps feature to work. Anyone have any luck?)
  • Not proceeding with the proposed new residential heritage areas of Hardham Crescent, Hutt Road Railway, Moera Railway, Petone Foreshore, Petone State Flats, and Wainuiomata Terracrete Homes (because, alleged Heritage)
  • A slight expansion of the Jackson Street Heritage Area to include 352, 358, and 362-364 Jackson Street (because, alleged Heritage)
  • A lower height limit on regional council-owned land near Korokoro urupā, from 22m to 12m (six storeys to three) (because, respect for the dead? Say what? )
  • A selectively more generous recession plane— in the High Density Residential Activity Area for developments that provide a significant number of new homes, to encourage buildings to be located closer to the street (more generous = double speak for taller? less sunny? more generous actually meaning more nasty or less good? Double plus ungood?)
  • A simplified resource consent pathway to encourage more small-scale commercial activities in High Density Residential areas at the ground floor of apartment buildings (Hallelujah !!)

Plan Change 56, including the panel’s recommendations, became operative on 21 September.

What a Character !! Apparently the whole of the Hutt is filled with character.

Note: The Government requires this change to the District Plan to run on a streamlined process under the Resource Management Act, and there is no process for appeal by Council or any other group or individual.

Let us know what you think – is this a good thing or a bad thing? Or just a thing? How does it affect you? Or your livelihood?

Advocating for balconies ? I think that is what this is saying.