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Iona New Urban Development Area

The Iona Residential rezoning now has full effect (from 19 September 2018) and means that some 55 hectares of land is available for residential development.

What's happening

Land at Iona has now been rezoned for residential development with some 55 hectares available.  The rezoning has been subject to a Streamlined Planning Process with the Environment Minister making the final decision on the rezoning. The decision was informed by the recommendations of three independent Commissioners with significant experience in planning and resource management law, stormwater, landscape and urban design issues, who heard the submissions on the rezoning.

A structure plan has also been approved as part of the rezoning and this document guides and directs the residential development of the area. The structure plan sets out things such as the road layout, infrastructure services and the location of public reserves, walkways and cycleways.  A number of specialist reports and peer reviews were prepared to assist in the development of a structure plan for the area.

The extent of the rezoning area is depicted on the Iona development area map.

Background – how did this come about?

The Iona area of Havelock North has been identified for residential growth since 1993.

A request to rezone the land at Iona was made to Council as part of public submissions on the Proposed District Plan back in 2014, which at the time was rejected.  The Council’s decision was appealed to the Environment Court in October 2015.

Following the appeal, approval was given by the Environment Court to try and mediate the appeal through the formation of a working group.  The working group was made up of local residents who lodged an interest in the appeal, Council staff, consultants and representatives from the appellant’s family.

Facilitated by a landscape architect, the working group established a set of community focused outcomes and prepared a draft Structure Plan to guide the rezoning.  Community consultation on the draft Structure Plan then occurred to refine it and inform the District Plan variation that followed.  An application was then made to the Environment Minister for this land to be rezoned under a Streamlined Planning Process, which was approved in February 2018.

The District Plan variation (Variation 4) to rezone this land was then notified soon after, submissions received and considered by independent commissioners who then made recommendations to the Environment Minister.  The Environment Minister then made the final decision on the rezoning, which came into effect on 19 September 2018.

Documents related to the decision are as follows:

Iona Structure Plan

Click to enlarge

The structure plan

The structure plan is more detailed than that ever produced previously, given the unique landscape within which this area sits, and the desire to retain many of the existing landscape features that the local community identify with and value.  Below is an outline of some of the elements of the Structure Plan.  The full wording of the District Plan provisions can be found in Eplan.

Iona Special Character Zone – adoption of the three distinct neighbourhood areas - Bull Hill, Iona Plateau and Iona Terraces each with different District Plan provisions acknowledging their distinct features and to manage environmental effects.

Roading, Walkways and Cycleways – some roads are indicative and others fixed to assist manage how the neighbourhoods are developed and promote good connections.  Central to the Plateau and Terraces is the spine road, which has been positioned in the saddle of the central ridge to reduce visibility.  This road is to retain a more rural feel and treatment.

Public Open Space – two new reserves are intended, Bull Hill Reserve within the Iona triangle which is to include a playground and the other across the road within the hill area.  Walking loop circuits through the reserves are intended to further enhance recreational opportunities.

Infrastructure – existing ponds will be used along with additional land set aside for stormwater management and detention to ensure stormwater neutrality is achieved.  Central water and wastewater are also shown, including a new wastewater pump station on Iona Road within a reserve area.

What’s next

To support development, funding for services are included in Councils Long Term Plan.  Land in Breadalbane Avenue which was part of this rezoning has recently been subdivided for residential purposes.  Further section availability will depend on developer’s aspirations.  Subdivision applications can be lodged once the appropriate site investigations have been carried out. This includes the preparation of a Stormwater Management Plan for the entire area and ensures a comprehensive solution for exists the entire area ahead of any development. This Stormwater Management Plan builds on stormwater modelling work already carried out as part of structure plan investigations.

Staying informed

This webpage will be updated as development at Iona progresses.

Further information

If you have any questions about the proposed rezoning of land at Iona, please contact the Environmental Policy team by email or phone Council.


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