Featherston Masterplan – Commonly asked questions

Where will the houses we need in the next 30 years go?

In the next 30 years, it’s estimated Featherston will need more than 900 houses for 1700 extra residents.

That’s why we need to think about creating areas of town that will take smaller, more intensified housing – townhouses, flats and apartments, while still ensuring that there are bigger sections available. The two options we’ve presented will both do that. Both revolve around the train station and the main street. However, Option two suggests actually moving the train station close to the main street. That will bring more foot traffic and make it easier for commuters living centrally.

Both options have advantages and disadvantages – it’s why we’re asking for your feedback. 

How do we ensure our main street thrives?

Feedback so far is that residents want a safe, pleasant main street with a sense of a heart. That’s a challenge, given the heavy traffic and the division of the street into two state highways.

Both of the proposed options make it possible for a range of different types of housing around the centre of town. It also proposes a town centre zone which would focus on commercial activities and a mixed use zone which would provide for a mix of activities.

We will also be looking at urban design, connectivity, traffic calming measures etc.

Situating the station near the main street to get them working together has some advantages, however it may be more costly than investing around the current train station. Tell us what you think about each option.

How can we enable more housing within the existing boundaries?

While we know traditional family housing is valued in Featherston, we also know rising house prices have made it difficult for those who have traditionally lived there to stay there.

To increase the amount of affordable housing, the number of people within walking distance of the town centre and public transport, and to limit the amount of greenfield land released, we are looking to alter the town’s planning restrictions.

We’re proposing a medium density area around the train station and main street which would allow subdivision down to 200 square metres. Beyond it would be a general residential zone which would allow subdivision down to 300sqm. The current minimum size for a lot is 500sqm. Over time this would lead to a greater choice of dwellings; for example, more two-storey houses, semi-detached/duplexes and terraced housing. There will still be options for those who want bigger or lifestyle properties.

To accommodate 1700 more residents in the town, this flexibility is necessary, but the result should be a greater choice of different housing and, hopefully, more affordable options.

Why are you looking at relocating the train station, how much will it cost and where would it go?

Moving the train station was suggested in Concept Option Two. This was a transformational proposal: it mirrors other transit-oriented developments where public transport and the main street work together to create a walkable lively town centre.

This proposal was very much ‘blue sky’ thinking and for gaining related feedback. The initial consultation phase wanted to establish how much people either support future development around the existing station and the main street, or having the train station located closer in town. Costings are premature and dependent on talks with KiwiRail. Mike Cullen (Urbacity)’s report gave some advice on the economics of the two options.

Should we have heritage areas?

There are parts of Featherston that might be considered heritage areas.  If there is a desire for it, Council could prepare design guides and heritage area studies to protect areas of heritage and character. A design guide provides developers with guidance, and a heritage area study would protect the character of an entire area instead of individual houses

How do I find the Discussion Document?

The Discussion Document can be found here.

Our press release gives a good, brief summary and there are more details about Concept Option One on our Featherston Masterplan – Discussion Document and Feedback page. Feedback from the Discussion Document is informing the Draft Masterplan which is due out in the first half of 2023.

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