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Unclassified residential streets

Unclassified Streets are Nelson’s quieter local streets, and include Sub-Collector Streets, Local Streets and Residential Lanes as identified on Planning Map A2.1 in Volume 4 of the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

Unclassified Streets are Nelson’s quieter local streets, and include Sub-Collector Streets, Local Streets and Residential Lanes as identified on Planning Map A2.1 in Volume 4 of the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

What do the rules say?

House design (REr.25.1) Any length of wall longer than 5m and sited more or less parallel to the street boundary contains a window or a door.

Building setback (REr.25.1) Buildings are set back from the street boundary by at least 1.5m.

Garages and cars (REr.25.1) Any garage, carport or accessory building located in a front yard is setback at least 1m further from the street boundary than the wall of the associated residential unit which is nearest to the same road boundary.

The space in front of the entrance to the garage is large enough to park a car without overhanging onto the footpath.

On-site vehicle manoeuvring is discouraged as backing directly onto the street will help with calming the traffic on Unclassified streets and increase the useable front yard space.

Front yard (the area of site within the Residential zone which is located within 4m of a road boundary) (REr.25.1) At least 50% of the front yard is landscaped (which may include planting, lawn, rocks and paved areas with no ability for vehicle access).

Front fence (REr.31.1) The maximum height of a solid front fence does not exceed 1.2m or 1.8m if totally visually permeable.

The maximum height of a solid fence adjoining a reserve, walkway or other public space does not exceed 1.2m or 1.8m if totally visually permeable.
Where board and paling fences are used, structural railings do not face a road, walkway or other public space.
Hedges are defined as fences.

Access (REr.40) Vehicle access must be provided with visibility splays of 1.5m by 2.0m as shown on the diagram Figure 11 on page 6, and avoiding objects and vegetation over 1.2m in height in those areas.

Corner sites (REr.29) On corner sites, vegetation greater than 1m in height and structures must be set back from the corner at least to a diagonal line joining points on each road boundary 1.5m from the corner of the site (or the point where the road boundaries would meet if extended).

What are the rules aiming to achieve?

  • Creating an interesting and lively streetscape that is overlooked from the dwellings fronting the street.
  • Encouraging building facades that provide visual interest through off-setting or articulating the building form, with large building facades modulated to give the appearance of several buildings, in line with the residential character of the area.
  • Creating a residential street that gives priority to the pedestrian experience as it is safe and pleasant to walk in.
  • Creating a streetscape that is dominated by landscaped front yards, rather than hard vehicle surface.
  • Creating a pleasant transition between the public street and the private dwelling in the form of a front yard that can be seen from the street.
  • Creating a streetscape with sightlines that are unobstructed by fences or vegetation to ensure safe reverse manoeuvring onto the street.

This triple garage set forward from the rest of the house, combined with a large paved area for parked cars , shows poor streetscape.



This arrangement, with a large window to the street and has a garage that is set back, at least gives the impression that the street is well-overlooked and leads to a safe-feeling and attractive streetscape


What are the common challenges with building design?

Locating the dwelling on the lot in such a way that:

  • in- and outdoor privacy protection are achieved as well as a good streetscape;
  • garages are set back and garage doors do not dominate the streetscape;
  • reverse manoeuvring onto the street can occur safely and sightlines are unobstructed;
  • it makes the most of the street amenity, tree plantings, and existing vehicle crossings; and
  • it responds appropriately to the layout of the neighbouring dwellings.

Are there any additional matters of good practice?  

  • Dwellings should be placed on a lot to allow a sunny outdoor living space and provide a useable private back yard with good flows between the main living areas and the backyard.
  • Locate at least a living room, dining room or kitchen on the ground floor at the front of the house. Just a front door and a garage leads to a dwelling that does not overlook the street.
  • A double garage door could be designed in such a way that its visual impact is reduced. This could be done by for example using two single garage doors and design elements that emphasise other aspects of the house.
  • Each dwelling should have a sense of address with a visible front door or a well defined entranceway.
  • Consider locating the garage to the side or rear of a dwelling.
  • Orientating lots east-west, rather than north-south at the subdivision stage and locating private open spaces to the rear or the side of dwellings will avoid the challenge of residents trying to protect their privacy by high fences or walls on the street edge.
  • On a lot with the rear of the house facing south, the dwelling can be positioned in such a way that a sunny side-yard to the west or east will be created.
  • Front fence materials and colours should provide a pleasant human-scaled streetscape. Consider durable materials and colours that fit with the materialisation of the dwelling and the surrounding environment.



An example of good design.



An example of good design.