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Central city and surrounds

In line with government direction, the central city is where we’re enabling the most intensification. We already allow unlimited heights in the central city. We’re proposing to extend the area this covers and allow increased densities in a walkable area around the city. This will help promote the revitalisation of our central city, and provide greater access to jobs, parks, restaurants, and other amenities.


Our proposed changes include:

  • up to three homes, up to three storeys, without a resource consent and no infrastructure
    assessment required (permitted activity)
  • six plus storeys in parts of Whitiora, Te Rapa and Hamilton East (within walking distance from the central city), with a resource consent
  • unlimited heights across all areas of the central city zone, with a resource consent
  • subject to green policies and financial contributions
  • new design controls.

Areas around our suburban centres

In areas within 400m from our suburban centres, where we can easily access all the things we need, we also want to see more intensification. We’re proposing to rezone these areas to medium density.

This includes areas near Chartwell, Thomas Road, Five Cross Roads, Clyde Street east, Hamilton East, Glenview, Frankton, and Dinsdale. It also includes within 200m of Nawton.
However, because of the impact of this type of development on the River, in most areas this will require an infrastructure capacity assessment to make sure the existing network can cope with the extra demand.


Our proposed changes include:

  • a minimum of 150m2 sections
  • up to three storeys without a resource consent, subject to meeting certain controls
  • anything between three and five storeys with a resource consent and full infrastructure assessment
  • new requirements around landscaping, permeable surfaces and rainwater tanks.
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What does this mean for the rest of the city?

For all other residential areas, we’re proposing to keep densities largely what they are now, with duplexes continuing to provide much of our housing in existing urban areas.

In Hamilton, currently around 50% of new houses are built within existing urban areas. This is partly because the current rules in our District Plan already allow duplexes in our residential areas and unlimited heights in our central city. Duplexes and townhouses have been a popular choice of housing in Hamilton for over a decade.

We’re proposing:

  • a minimum of 200m2 sections (like duplexes are now)
  • up to three homes of up to three storeys per site (similar to the duplex-style we have now)
  • no resource consent in some areas, subject to meeting certain controls
  • new requirements around landscaping, permeable surfaces and rainwater tanks.

Anything outside of these rules, for example smaller sections or more than three homes per site, would need a resource consent.

In new residential areas like Peacocke or Rotokauri, where we can plan ahead for the infrastructure, we can have higher densities. This will be decided with the developer as part of the consenting process.

How will it look?

We have an Urban Design Panel which provide developers with advice and direction around the design of their projects. This is an optional service we encourage everyone to use.

Government requirements do not allow us to consider urban design in our rules for most developments.

However, where resource consents are required developers will need to consider design in relation to:

  • neighbouring properties
  • public and open spaces
  • the safety and security of residents
  • vehicles and pedestrians
  • the look and feel of the city.
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Last updated 23 August 2022