Summary of submissions

We asked for your feedback on the draft District Plan Change in July and August 2016. We have reviewed this and prepared a summary of submissions (600.9KB PDF).


Draft District Plan Change

We’re continuing to work with the community to accommodate future housing needs. Based on earlier feedback, we drafted a District Plan Change that proposes:

  • the introduction of a medium-density residential area (MDRA)
  • making changes to building design standards.

The draft District Plan Change will enable more houses to be built and changes to the building design standards and design guides will ensure new developments recognise the existing character of Newlands. The Draft Housing Choice Plan Change document includes all draft changes to policies, rules, and standards.

Draft Housing Choice Plan Change for Tawa and Newlands (552KB PDF)


Draft MDRA boundary

We developed this boundary based on a number of reports and your feedback from the 2015 consultation with the Newlands community. Based on your recent feedback and further investigations, we may make more changes to the draft boundary.

View larger map


Draft building design standards

Building design standards are measurable standards such as building height limits, site coverage, setbacks and open space areas.


Current standards

Proposed standards

Number of household units

Two household units permitted. Three or more household units need resource consent

One household unit permitted. Two or more household units need resource consent

Building height

8m (two-storeys) or 4.5m-6m for an infill unit if the site is less than 800m²

8m (two-storeys), with scope through the resource consent process to build to 10.4m (three storeys) in places, eg along Newlands Road or near the town centre

Building recession planes

2.5m on the boundary, with a 45 degree incline on all boundaries

2.5m on the boundary, with a 56 degree incline on southern boundaries, or 63 degrees on northern boundaries

Site coverage



Minimum landscaping

No standard

At least 25% of the site must have landscaped permeable surface

Front yard

The lesser of 3m, or half the width of the road minus 10m


Ground level open space

50m² per unit

20m² per unit

Vehicle parking

One space per unit

One space per unit


Residential Design Guide changes

We also propose changes to the Residential Design Guide, which is what we use to assess all multi-unit resource consents, to help make sure they are designed and built to a high quality. These changes were informed by a character assessment (8.2MB PDF).

Residential Design Guide changes will help:

  • manage effects of new buildings built on sloping sites
  • give guidance on landscaping
  • give direction on where additional height may be appropriate.


Summary documents

These summary documents of the rationale for the boundary and the building design standards have more information on the issues we’ve considered.


How will these changes provide more homes?

Rather than propose a building height change, we believe more homes can be built by increasing site coverage and reducing how much open space is required for each unit. To help developments fit in well with the local surroundings we are proposing a minimum landscaped area.

For buildings within the MDRA, we encourage owners to consider house conversions for properties considered uneconomic to build additional houses on. Converting a large family home into two smaller units has less impact on a neighbourhood's look and feel.


How many homes will this create?

On average, about 15–20 new homes are built each year in Newlands. Forecast.ID’s current projection for the suburb is for about 500–600 new houses to be built between 2014–43.

In their report (1.8MB PDF) on economic supply and demand, Gray Partners identified that about 150–250 houses could be built in the draft Newlands MDRA. This equates to 5–10 extra homes a year over a 30-year planning period.

We expect that even with an MDRA in place, development will only happen gradually as opportunities come up. The suburb won’t change overnight.


Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments, you can:



The District Plan Team on 04 499 4444


Freepost WCC
District Plan Team, Wellington City Council
PO Box 2199
Wellington 6140


Next steps

  • Prepare and publish a summary of feedback received
  • Do further investigations, if needed, to refine the boundary or building standards based on your feedback
  • Work towards notifying a District Plan Change.


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Sign up to My Wellington, our weekly enewsletter, to stay informed about the project’s progress.