Housing: Tauranga rule change in the pipeline

The shopping centre in Bethlehem. Supplied photo.

Changing city planning rules to allow buildings of up to six storeys within walking distance of town centres, such as Bethlehem Shopping Centre, is on the table for Tauranga.

Smaller centres, such as the Pyes Pa shopping centre, could see buildings of four storeys going up within strolling distance of local shops.

Tauranga City Council has taken the first step towards identifying where higher density housing could be located in Tauranga by categorising existing commercial centres within the city boundary based on their size, the type of commercial activity there, and walkable catchments around those centres.

The next steps will involve looking strategically at each location before proposing an outline for higher density residential zones, and associated building heights.

This will be the basis for a large-scale change to the Tauranga City Plan to enable more housing supply, which will be shared with the community for feedback in late August.

The proposed plan change comes on the back of new government legislation to help grow New Zealand cities and provide more housing in high-growth areas.

Tauranga City Council Commission chair Anne Tolley says enabling residential development around urban centres makes sense.

“It’s about creating more opportunities for people to live within walking distance of where they shop, access services and catch the bus.

“This will help create more housing, with more choice in the types of homes people can live in, while supporting the reduction in car dependency. It’s all part of enabling a more sustainable, people-friendly city.”

Going one step further, residential areas along the Cameron Road corridor could see buildings of up to eight storeys.

“The Te Papa peninsula is a prime location for higher housing density. It has what it takes to provide connected neighbourhoods where people can live, learn, work and play, without having to take the car out: schools, employment, public transport, and large residential areas. The plan change will make it easier to create more homes and make the most of the land within the city’s existing footprint.”

The proposed plan change will enable council to implement the spatial plan completed for Te Papa in 2020 and will align with the outcomes of the Ōtūmoetai Spatial Plan, currently under development.

“We’ve recently been talking with our Ōtūmoetai communities about what that area might look like in 2050, to help us create a plan for the future of that part of the city, and that feedback will be included in our proposed changes to the wider city plan too,” says Tolley.

Further spatial planning work will be required, outside the plan change process, to identify what kind of investment and initiatives council will need to support growth in and around the other areas identified for increased housing density.

More information on the plan change: www.tauranga.govt.nz/housing-supply

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1 Comment

Get the infrastructure right first

Posted on 17-05-2022 19:51 | By Get our roads

I’m all for more housing and business expansion as long as the infrastructure is in place first. You cant build first and then think about infrastructure. Tauranga is so far behind in this it is stifling business and households, especially commuters. Tauranga has long outgrown the roads that we currently have to travel to get to work every morning. Way behind and millions of dollars to catch up, MT, PAPAMOA, GREERTON, TAURIKO, BETHLEHEM, WELCOME BAY, PYES PA, OROPI, every road leads to traffic jams in peak hours and it ain’t good enough, you name it, every single area in Tauranga cannot cope with the traffic on the roads, people are simply not going to get out of their cars to catch a bus or cycle if they ain’t there to catch when you want them, and the cpublic transport is abysmal in Tauranga and WBOP

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