From 1 January 2021 new developments in Nelson will no longer be required to provide minimum parking facilities, following approval by Nelson City Council at its meeting on 17 December.

Under the current rules of the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP), Council requires developers to provide a minimum number of on-site car parks for residential and commercial developments, depending on the size and nature of the development.

The National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) requires Council to remove the requirement for developers to provide a minimum number of on-site car parks by the end of 2021. This applies to all new developments but is specifically designed to enable more housing and commercial developments in higher density areas where people do not necessarily need to own or use a car to access jobs, services, or amenities.

Council has moved quickly to put the requirements into effect so that people can take advantage of the new rules as soon as possible without having to apply for resource consent.

Kate Fulton, Chair of the Environment and Climate Committee, said that the policy change will support a shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle for Nelson.

"This is future thinking on how we support housing availability, housing affordability and housing sustainability."

The move allows the number of car parks provided in any one development to be driven by market demand, rather than planning requirements. Developers may still choose to provide car parking.

The change will free up space for other uses, help reduce development costs and support increased residential density and alternative transport options. There will still be a requirement to provide parking for use by people with impaired mobility.

Council will monitor parking in the city for any impacts on on-road parking and traffic safety.