Turning a vision into reality: making intensification happen

26/08/2021 3:26pm
Artist's rendition of the City Centre Spatial Plan and Kāinga Ora housing proposal, as viewed from Bridge St.
Artist's rendition of the City Centre Spatial Plan and Kāinga Ora housing proposal, as viewed from Bridge St.

Proposals that have the potential to transform life in Nelson’s city centre – creating homes, bringing more people to our streets, and helping to create a people-focused, destination city – are ready to receive community feedback.

Te Ara ō Whakatū, Nelson’s City Centre Spatial Plan, and the Kāinga Ora housing proposal will open for public feedback on Monday, 30 August 2021, following a full meeting of Nelson City Council held on Thursday, 26 August.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said Nelson’s city centre and affordable housing are priorities in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan.

“You can see in these proposals how things such as planning, housing and infrastructure interact. Progress on these key issues is critical to our community’s wellbeing.”

After six months of engagement with our community, Te Ara ō Whakatū, Nelson’s Draft City Centre Spatial Plan, delivers a 30-year vision for the future of our Smart Little City.  

The plan proposes eight actions that would guide future development in Nelson. These include giving people priority on our central streets, more great places linked by laneways, a greater focus on our cultural identity, increased urban greening and greater opportunities for play.

Chair of the Urban Development Sub-committee, Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar, has been leading the Spatial Plan development and said early conversations between the team behind Te Ara ō Whakatū and more than 50 community groups, was one of Council’s most extensive and rewarding pre-engagement processes.

“Nelson’s city centre is often the focus of submissions to Council plans. If one thing links those submissions, it’s passion. People are passionate about the future of their city centre, it’s our soul and our heartbeat, and Te Ara ō Whakatū sets out a clear vision for change. And in our engagement so far, the one uniting factor is that everyone believes change is necessary.”

To support the Te Ara ō Whakatū goal of 2000 people living in our city centre by 2050, Council has been looking at its property portfolio and working with Kāinga Ora to identify sites for housing development.

A proposal to sell Council-owned property at 69 to 101 Achilles Ave and 42 Rutherford Street to Kāinga Ora for development into about 175 affordable and social homes is also open for community feedback. 

“This proposal makes sense on so many levels. Kāinga Ora are uniquely placed to provide the scale of social and affordable housing we require, bring intensification to our City Centre, and provide much-needed housing,” Deputy Mayor Edgar said.

“Dr Kay Saville-Smith, Director of the Centre for Research, Evaluation, and Social Assessment, presented to the Urban Development Sub-committee last year and spoke about the need to address housing for the ‘missing middle’. These are people with relatively secure, low-to-middle income jobs who still struggle to access and afford secure housing. With employment disruption, they can very quickly require social housing. Dr Saville-Smith’s advice identifies this as a critical gap in Nelson’s housing supply.”

Complementing both consultations was a Council application to the latest round of infrastructure investment from central government. The $1 billion Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF) is targeted at increasing housing supply across Aotearoa. It aims to increase the pace and scale of housing delivery by helping to fund the critical infrastructure needed for developments.

Council’s application to the IAF makes the case for central government investment in the ringroad watermain, wastewater network, and the Linear Park – Active Transport Corridor proposed in Te Ara ō Whakatū. This important work would allow for increased development on the site/s of the proposed Kāinga Ora developments, and housing development throughout the city centre.

To find out more and provide feedback, please visit Shape Nelson. Anyone who is unable to access the consultations online should call our Customer Service Team on 03 546 0200.