New Zealand Law Society - National Policy Statement on Urban Development released

National Policy Statement on Urban Development released

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The Government has agreed on a National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity, which will come into effect from 1 December 2016.

The Statement requires local authorities to ensure regional and district plans provide adequately for the development of business and housing. This is to enable urban areas to grow and change in response to the needs of their communities.

It directs local authorities to provide sufficient development capacity in their resource management plans for housing and business growth to meet demand.

Development capacity refers to the amount of development allowed by zoning and regulations in plans that is supported by infrastructure. This development can be “outwards” (on greenfield sites) and/or “upwards” (by intensifying existing urban environments).

The NPS-UDC contains objectives and policies that local authorities must give effect to in their resource management decisions that provide direction on:

  • the outcomes that urban planning decisions should achieve;
  • the evidence underpinning those decisions;
  • responsive planning approaches;
  • coordination between local authorities and providers of infrastructure.

The Ministry for the Environment says an introductory guide will be available from 3 November 2016.

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