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Councils Planning For City’s Growth

Dunedin (Tuesday, 6 December 2022) – Ensuring Dunedin has enough development capacity to meet the needs of its growing population is a key purpose of a Future Development Strategy to be developed by Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council, in partnership with mana whenua.

Both councils will consider the scope and focus for a Future Development Strategy, and the city’s expected future housing needs, at respective meetings on 7 December (ORC) and 13 December (DCC).

DCC City Development Manager Dr Anna Johnson says recent changes to planning rules that enable denser development in many parts of the city, and the rezoning of several greenfield sites for immediate or future residential development, means Dunedin is expected to have more than enough development capacity to meet the population’s housing needs over the coming 30 years.

“When the Future Development Strategy is complete in 2024, we expect to have enough development capacity for approximately 13,000 new homes over 30 years. This compares favourably with our actual expected need over this time, which is closer to 6,600 homes,” Dr Johnson says.

“This will ensure there is plenty of choice for developers to respond to consumer preferences and different housing needs, including attached housing such as duplexes and apartments.”

Dr Johnson says that trends in the development market are encouraging, with significant growth in the number of new homes being granted consent across Dunedin over the last two years.

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ORC’s General Manager Policy and Science Anita Dawe says the city’s data shows sufficient capacity to meet the anticipated demand.

“ORC’s focus is to ensure that the Future Development Strategy enables that capacity to be realised in a way which accounts for environmental constraints and natural hazards, and provides appropriate access to services, including public transport,” she says.

The Future Development Strategy is a requirement under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

As well as demonstrating sufficient development capacity for future housing and businesses needs, the Future Development Strategy needs to demonstrate infrastructure will be provided to support growth.

It also needs to set out how growth will deliver a ‘well-functioning urban environment’. This includes providing for a variety of homes that meet people’s needs; enabling Māori to express their cultural traditions and norms; providing good accessibility; supporting emissions reduction; and being resilient to the effects of climate change.

Five focus areas for Dunedin’s strategy – additional to what is required by the NPS – are also recommended. They are: community and social housing; supporting the resilience of outlying settlements and rural areas; supporting resilience of South Dunedin; non-essential infrastructure to deliver strategic priorities and objectives, such as strengthened green and blue networks; and additional long-term intensification opportunities.

Governance arrangements for the Future Development Strategy will be considered by the respective councils in early 2023. Targeted stakeholder and community engagement will take place next year during the development of a draft strategy, which is expected to then go out for full public consultation in early 2024.

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