Residential Street Frontage Guidelines

Why residential street design is important

Residential streets are much more than corridors which move traffic. Streets allow local movement and access for a number of different users - walkers, cyclists or drivers. In neighbourhoods they can be a space for socialising and play and provide people with access to property.

Some functions of residential streets include:

  • being a public space for people’s outlook, assembly, meeting, moving, parking, and exchange;
  • creating a safe, low speed high amenity environment for pedestrians;
  • defining the image and perceived value of a neighbourhood; and
  • contributing to wider linkages and connections in respect of transport, views, and ecology.

Purpose of this guide

Outcomes that Council is looking for in residential areas in Nelson. Information on what makes a successful street and the advantages of living on one. Illustrates rules and matters of good practice. It focuses on Unclassified streets (quieter local routes) first, as most new residential development will be on this type of street, but provides information on Classified streets (busier through routes) as well.


This guide is intended for three groups of people:

  • the general public - to explain why it is important to contribute to creating the best streetscape when building a new house or a new fence (or changing an existing one).
  • resource management practitioners - to explain the basic techniques and requirements of successful streetscapes, providing some direct references to proposed plan provisions.
  • designers and builders - to explain the basic techniques and requirements of successful streetscapes and why it is important to contribute to creating good streetscapes when undertaking developments.

Council design advice

It is recommended that applicants for resource consent for front yard or fence rules discuss their plans with the Council Duty Planner (+64 3 546 0200) before locking in any design. Agreement on key issues will ensure an efficient consent process, and make sure that a reasonable outcome based on the unique needs of the activity is pursued. The Council Duty Planner can advise whether the projects would benefit from review by the Major Projects Team and an Urban Design Panel which are available to provide advice to applicants on draft proposals.

More information