Future Development Strategy

Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council are together working on a project called the ‘ Nelson-Tasman Future Development Strategy’, or the ‘FDS’.  The FDS will be a high-level plan to determine how the Nelson City and Tasman District will accommodate the next 30 years of housing and business growth. 

The FDS will show where growth is to be located, and in what form, and what infrastructure will be needed to support that growth.

The FDS will be prepared over a concentrated period of eight months.  The Councils will be commencing consultation early in 2019 – more about that later.

Why is an FDS needed?

The two Councils have done an analysis of population, dwelling and business growth projections for the 30 year period of 2018 to 2048.  For the first 10 years (2018 to 2028) a high growth scenario has been assumed, followed by a medium growth projection for the following 20 years thereafter.

Analysis and modelling for Nelson and Tasman Districts indicate that sufficient capacity has been provided to meet the next 10 years' growth.  However, the analysis suggests that in the longer term there will be demand for around 6,000 additional dwellings in Tasman District, and around 8,000 dwellings in Nelson City, over the period to 2048.  There will also be demand for business and commercial land.

Developing an FDS will provide an opportunity to consider how and where we provide for growth over the next 30 years. 

Why do we need to Manage Growth?

Residential and business growth is important to plan for.  Without residential supply, prices go up, young people and skilled workers cannot afford to live here, and the economy suffers from labour shortages. 

There are also statutory and legislative requirements on Council’s to plan for, and manage, growth.  An important document is the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity which places requirements on Councils.

However, it is important to manage growth so that development happens in a planned way.  This is necessary to avoid hazards, avoid the undesirable effects of ad hoc development, and to ensure it occurs in locations where infrastructure can be provided.

Objectives of the FDS

The FDS will:

  • Be a document that is adopted by both Nelson and Tasman Councils;
  • Focus on growth and development and provide a clear vision and decision-making framework for both Councils;
  • Be a prospectus developed from all the detailed analysis and planning documents currently available;
  • Be used as an easy to read summary for the community;
  • Incorporate feedback from government departments, key organisations, local Iwi, and neighbouring Councils;
  • Be linked with the programme of the Nelson Regional Development Agency;
  • Be used as a basis for infrastructure funding applications and other economic development bids; and
  • Be a living document and map that is updated every three years to reflect changes.

What are the Constraints on Development?

Planning future growth and development always has challenges.  All land has some constraints on use, and nowhere is entirely free from the effect of natural hazards.  The trick for the FDS will be to take these constraints into account, but also provide for the growth that will occur.

Some of the physical constraints are:

  • Productive Land – much of the land around Richmond is highly productive and provides for our supply of fruit and vegetables.  It is also a significant source of income for the regions.
  • Coastal Erosion – sea level rise is a reality and coastal erosion is occurring in numerous locations.  Many coastal areas are no longer suitable for future development.
  • Flood Prone Land – most of our major settlements are built on floodplains.  Further development can expose more people and assets to the risk of flooding.
  • Rural Character and Visually Sensitive Locations – many rural landscapes are known and loved by people just as they are.  We need to carefully consider the important landscapes and character of Nelson and Tasman.
  • Transport – Transport is a critical consideration in any strategy for future development.

There are also considerations such as an ageing population, the trend towards smaller houses, and the significant benefits of intensification of urban areas.

So what are the Options?

This is where we want feedback from the people of Nelson and Tasman.  We will be undertaking a robust assessment of options, but throughout this process we want to know what you think.  How do you want to see Nelson and Tasman develop in the future to accommodate the forecast growth? What are our options? Is there anything we should rule in or rule out? Where should we direct our efforts? Do you have any ideas that we may not have thought of?

Some examples to get you thinking:

  1. Are there additional areas of Nelson that should be considered for development?
  2. Should we be allowing Richmond to continue to expand if it means development on productive soils?
  3. Should we be focusing development in the smaller settlements outside of the Nelson Urban Area? If so which ones?
  4. Should we be growing within our existing urban boundaries, even if this means significantly increasing building density and heights?
  5. Should we be establishing a new settlement to absorb growth? If so, where?

What comes next?

For the remainder of 2018 Council staff will be working on developing and refining background information.  We will also be consulting with key stakeholders, including government departments, and iwi.

In late January 2019 we will be undertaking public consultation on the FDS, as well as consulting business, industries and developers.  Between now and then we invite you to think about these issues.

Keep an eye on Our Nelson and our facebook page for further updates about how you can have your say in the first round of public consultation, starting late January 2019.