What does the Spatial Plan mean to me? Common FAQs

Continued growth and change is occurring in South Wairarapa. More people are moving to the district to enjoy the country lifestyle, and as a result, house prices are rising and the pressure on infrastructure is growing.

After much consultation, the Council has published the first stage of the South Wairarapa Spatial Plan.  Our Spatial Plan sets out what we believe should be protected and which areas should be developed for growth for our district over the next 30 years. It is a broad approach, with finer details to be worked out in the master plans for each town.

The community had a lot to say about the district’s future. There were more than 900 responses to the plan – more than 680 at the initial “What’s on Top” survey during our Long Term Plan/Spatial Plan consultation phase and more than 200 in the more detailed submission process.

What were the biggest issues you had to weigh up?

The challenge has been to balance the need to enhance our environment, foster better connections, encourage development as well as protect the character and heritage that makes South Wairarapa special.

The community and stakeholders asked us to focus firstly on residential housing. Forecasts are that the district will need more than 2290 houses by 2050. House prices have already risen to a median of $860,000 so ensuring the housing supply can keep pace with demand was a key consideration.

For the Rural, Commercial and Industrial zones, this will be addressed by the Wairarapa Combined District Plan which is under review by all three district councils.

When will master planning begin?

Featherston will be the first of the three towns to be master planned, starting in early 2022, followed later in the year by Martinborough. Although Greytown is expected to grow the fastest, it has an existing supply of sections so master planning will not begin until 2023-24.

What changes are expected in Featherston?

Key residential challenges for Featherston are its growing population and affordability.

Featherston is recognised as a growth node and because of its strong commuter population, an area around the train station has been tagged for growth. Some of this area will be intensified for housing (“inner residential”).

However, the feedback from the Featherston community was that people wanted options –some still wanted larger sections. An area to the north of the town will be residential lifestyle, and to the south will be more “mid-residential” (400-500sqm). All of it will help provide housing for nearly 800 new residents and 600 houses over the 30 year life of the plan.

How will Martinborough’s character be retained?

Submissions showed Martinborough residents were keen to see the town retain its character and existing section sizes. The new plan will allow more mid-residential within the town boundaries, adding new areas around Roberts and Regent Streets, and west of Ferry Rd.

An “outer residential”  area will allow larger lots of 2000-4000sqm to the east and west of Oxford Street. In all, an estimated 260 to 280 houses will be needed.

Greytown’s growing fast – how fast?

Greytown is expected to the fastest growing town over the next three decades, with more than 1000 people expected to be added to its population by 2050. The plan anticipates about 800 houses will be needed, not including the 180 units being built at the new Orchards Retirement Village.

To allow for this, a large mid-residential zone between Jellicoe Street and Pāpāwai Road on the east side of the town has been approved.

Another area in North Street has been signalled for growth in five or more years, subject to flooding mitigation work, and a third area around Woodside Station has been signalled for transport orientated development from 10 years onwards.

Can I subdivide now?

The Spatial Plan has identified areas for residential development. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done before any development/subdivision can take place. This includes master planning, structure planning, infrastructure design and build and the introduction of new financial contributions. When the related work is complete, it will be adopted within the district plan via a plan change.

What if things change?

The Spatial Plan is not set in stone, it can and will be reviewed from time to time.

For more details about how the Spatial Plan aims to achieve this, please visit the projects and consultations page.

Who can I talk to regarding the impact of this plan on my property?

You can contact our planning team at spatial-planning@swdc.govt.nz.

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