Subdivisions set to catch the sun in plan changes

23:41, Jul 15 2014

The outdoor living spaces of all new Hamilton houses will have to be located on the northern side of the house to ensure people get full advantage of the sun.

The rule was among a host of urban design changes introduced in the city's new district plan.

Hamilton City Council staff yesterday held a stakeholders briefing on the plan at the council's reception lounge.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said that there had been 1200 submissions on the district plan, with independent commissioners Bill Wasley and Dorothy Wakeling sitting for 59 hearing days.

Hardaker said a series of open days on the proposed district plan had provided valuable feedback and allowed the council to check whether it was on "the right track".

The council's city planning and environmental services general manager Brian Croad said the council had accepted all the decisions of the independent commissioners, although submitters to the district plan had until August 20 to lodge an appeal.


An overall aim of the district plan was to manage growth, creating an increasingly compact city, concentrating development.

The plan also attempted to encourage well-designed buildings through the use of strong urban design provisions.

Croad said there had been widespread concern that the operative district plan had been too "hands off"' and dealt poorly with urban design.

Council city planning policy team leader Alice Morris said the district plan recognised setting the scene with subdivisions ensured better design layout.

New subdivisions would have the road on the east or west of properties, giving them a northerly focus.

"If you get the orientation with the subdivisions right, you can then fit all the rules with regard to residential layout," Morris said.

New rules include that properties' outdoor living areas have to be on the northern side of houses to ensure the area is orientated to take full advantage of the sun.

The plan, however, ditches a proposed "interface" rule which would have prohibited garages being set forward of living areas.

"The rule that has caused the most concern to a lot of developers was in regard to the interface rule that was colloquially know as the garage issue," Morris said.

Garages constructed as part of the house (and where the garage door faces the street) can be built 0.5 metres forward of the house.

Garages that are part of the house (and where the garage door is at right angles to the street) can be located up to 8m in front of the house.

Waikato Times