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Developers embrace Hastings residential intensification design guide

medium density housing concept

A year on from its launch, Hastings District’s Council’s residential intensification design guide has become a valued tool for developers seeking to build housing in the district.

With the district facing an increasing demand for housing, coupled with the need to protect its productive growing land, the guide was created to support and assist those taking up intensified development opportunities.

Intensification, or building more houses in existing neighbourhoods rather than rezoning rural areas, is a key element of the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy 2017 and Hastings District Council’s Medium Density Strategy.

The design guide provides ideas and tips to help property developers, builders and architects achieve high quality, sustainable housing; making it easy to understand and meet district plan requirements, particularly assessment criteria.

Council policy planners Anna Summerfield and Megan Gaffaney said that the guide was introduced to the sector at a forum last year, and created a lot of interest that has since turned into tangible outcomes.

“Professionals have enthusiastically picked it up and used it, and it’s helped them,” they said.

 “It’s a resource to help prepare for the consenting process, and it gives a good idea of council expectations – it takes the guesswork out of it and instils more confidence when it comes time to submit a resource consent application.”

At the same time, council’s policy team has been meeting with prospective developers to help familiarise them with the guide and use it to progress their development ideas.

“Those early conversations can start as soon as a site is found, and are really valuable to get things on the right track, identify any red flags, or suggest improvements.”

The guide focuses on design elements such as housing type, size and height, colour, connection to open spaces, landscape design and car parking, accompanied by images, diagrams and plans illustrating what to do, and what not to do.

It covers residential types ranging from infill to greenfield developments, inner city housing, mixed-use suburban shopping centres and co-housing and retirement villages.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said that it was important to address the urgent need for housing, but to do so in a way that didn’t encroach on growing soils, and that resulted in well-designed, quality housing.

“New housing in these smaller spaces needs to not only provide a roof over people’s heads, but also enhance a sense of community.

“We need to use land efficiently and to encourage sustainable, liveable, housing at the same time as protecting our productive land for future generations.”

Find out more about the residential intensification design guide here.

3 May 2022

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