Intensive housing options should be considered

erraced housing is not always on the agenda for developments, but surely Hawke’s Bay is on the cusp of providing for this type of housing as it presents an opportunity for another type of living within Hastings and Napier.

The planning provisions in the Hastings District Plan provide for terraced housing. The expectation for terraced housing is generally to be provided for in groups of three, comprehensively designed for the site and its surroundings. A design-led approach demonstrating that the design is the best option for the site, given all the competing uses and effects — such as building footprint, private outdoor space, carparking, utility space, logical indoor — outdoor flow, privacy, daylight and sunlight.

Terraced housing could do with a positive marketing campaign so it is no longer considered as a lower quality living option. Terraced, duplex or other forms of denser housing can provide the perfect set up for a range of different lifestyles.

Busy lifestyles that require time out and about with work, sport, socialising (when we’re not in a bubble), and yet where people can return to a warm new home offering living over two levels.

Depending on the size of the dwelling between two and four bedrooms, open plan living and carpark/storage. Private open space that optimizes sun and shade, developed with appropriate landscaped garden and fencing that gives privacy and outlook, and an inviting entrance from the street.

The National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD) ramps up the concept of residential intensification for our larger cities which are identified as Tier 1, of the NPS-UD).

It also gives a nod to Tier 2 centres such as Hastings, Napier, Palmerston North, New Plymouth to do as much as they can. Like all local authorities, the Hastings District Council will be investigating how and what they need to do to implement the NPS-UD, and what if any changes need to be made to the District Plan to support intensification.

Meanwhile Napier City Council has recently released a draft Spatial Picture for comment. The draft Spatial Picture collates and presents layers of spatial information such as regional employment, transport/movement, centres, residential intensification, and provides an initial evaluation of growth options.

This draft Spatial Picture will be an important tool going forward for the city and wider region to implement the NPS-UD. In addition, and related, Napier City Council released their draft District Plan for comment — so we can see where and how the rule book provides for different land uses — including how denser residential developments are to be provided for.

Whilst it is inevitable that the residential environments of the future, in Hastings and Napier, will have denser forms of housing, perhaps we can skip the ugly phase and have quality denser environments that are also enjoyable places to live.