Nelson Richmond Urban Housing Intensification Study

This is a joint project between Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, commissioned to help address the region-wide, identified need to accommodate a projected 9,000 new households by 2026. This requirement was identified in each Council’s growth strategy and intensification is one method to help meet the projected demand.

Residential intensification involves accommodating more people within the existing urban area. It could involve apartments above commercial activities in the central city or town houses and terrace housing around our town centres, along with a number of different housing types.

Limited residential-zoned land

The Nelson area has limited residentially zoned land left which is suitable for development, particularly flat land which is near to existing infrastructure, facilities and amenities.

Intensification is an important part of providing for the future of Nelson for the following reasons:

  • Intensification offers efficient use of existing infrastructure
  • Intensification is an efficient use of scarce land resources
  • International best planning practice supports intensification as being more sustainable
  • Intensification supports the trend towards smaller household occupancy and supports public transportation options
  • Allowing more people the option of living in existing areas reduces the number of cars travelling in and out of Nelson

Intensified housing further diversifies the range of housing types available in Nelson which gives people a greater choice of where and how they would like to live. Intensification will not be suitable in all areas of the city and careful consideration will be required to ensure that there is no detrimental effect to the character of existing neighbourhoods.

Areas will be identified where intensification is considered suitable. It is also important to remember the importance of maintaining existing lower density neighbourhoods to provide this type of living environment for the many people who value it.

The process so far

The Nelson / Richmond Intensification Study, Stage 1 – Pathways, has been completed and this study covers the following points:

  • Defines Intensification
  • Identifies challenges/opportunities for intensification
  • Analyses how challenges may be addressed
  • Provides two case studies of how intensification can be achieved
  • Concludes whether intensification is feasible or not.

What happens next

Two further stages are planned where work will be undertaken to identify suitable locations, identify how intensification can successfully be achieved and carry out plan changes to enable this to happen. There will be opportunities for people to comment through these processes and to make submissions through any formal plan change process. The central city strategy, called the Heart of Nelson Strategy, will look at intensification around the central city. Find out more about the Heart of Nelson Strategy.

Contact us

If you would like any further information, to get a hard copy of the study, or to discuss any development proposal in line with this study please contact the Planning Assistant,on +64 3 546 0388.

Download a copy of the study

Download the Nelson / Richmond Intensification Study Stage One (1.7MB PDF)


Nelson-Richmond-Intensification-Study-Stage1.pdf (pdf, 1.7 MB)