2020 Best Practice Award - District / Strategic Planning & Guidance

Awarded to:

  • DCM Urban Design Limited


for ...

Hutt City Medium Density Design Guide





Work on the Hutt City Medium Density Design Guide initially commenced in 2016 following the completion of the Hutt City Residential Growth Study (2016) which recommended the development of 3 new or modified land use zones, being:

  • Suburban Mixed use; Medium Density Residential; and Comprehensive Residential Development activity on larger sites within the General Residential zone.


The intention of the design guide is to develop a user, public-friendly document which would promote good design techniques while not necessarily adhering strictly to Bulk and Location Standards, while achieving a higher level of density. The growth study promoted several changes to density, bulk and location standards to promote a higher level of development while also allowing for a more permissive approach to encourage comprehensively designed, higher density developments.

It recognises that the ‘threshold’ for permitted activities has been increased by encouraging developers to intentionally breach standards where a better design outcome could be achieved when compared with adhering strictly to the rule/standard. The largest challenge of the guide was recognising that not all sites would develop at the same time or to the same potential, but recognising the need for greater development to be realised. That future development should not be unnecessarily restricted by existing low-density developments. The design guide provides several techniques to show how standards can be breached to allow for higher density but in ways where greater adverse effects will not be incurred.


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