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Future Development Strategy of Nelson – Nelson City Council

Nelson and Tasman are growing fast. We need to determine how we best manage this growth for the long-term benefit of the community and the environment. Managed well, growth can make our two regions better places to live, work and play.
We are asking for your views on three different scenarios for how we grow over the next 30 years. This is also your chance to suggest other places where you think we should allow housing or business to be located.


Join us to talk to our staff and Councillors about the FDS at the following sessions:

  • Nelson Farmers Market, Kirby Lane, Wednesday 10 April 9am-1pm
  • Stoke Library, Friday 12 April, 2.30pm-4pm
  • Nelson Saturday Market: Saturday 13 April, 9am-1pm, Montgomery Square, Nelson
  • Consultation closes 5pm 6 May 2019.

Urban Development Capacity

The National Policy Statement (NPS) on Urban Development Capacity which came into force late 2017, requires Tasman and Nelson Councils to work closer together to provide sufficient housing and business capacity.

A Future Development Strategy sets out the long-term picture for future urban growth. It looks out over 30 years – 2018 to 2048.

A growing region

Growth forecasts vary but if we continue to experience high growth, both Councils will need to find space for up to 12,000 extra homes over the next 30 years – this is on top of the extra residential land we have already planned for. Along with more houses, will come more shops, offices and commercial services.

If high-growth population forecasts eventuate, there will also be more business activities taking place in our region. We know that we have business land which is not currently being used or could be better used and this should be sufficient to meet future needs. However, to ensure greater choice we have looked at a number of possible new industrial/business areas.


An initial round of public feedback, at the start of 2019, gave us a broad idea of your preferences and priorities. We have developed three scenarios as examples of how future growth could occur. We want to get your feedback on the areas that have been included (and excluded) from these scenarios, as well as any other options, before preparing a final Future Development Strategy.

Planning where we should grow in the future means we need to make choices and there will be trade-offs, no matter what direction we take. How we grow in the future depends on what we value as a community.

It is likely that we will need to change the way we accommodate growth. Now we need to hear from you – which scenario or mix of scenarios do you prefer?

Common themes from the earlier feedback round were:

  • new housing developments should occur in areas that are close to employment, services and open spaces and in a way that promotes social well being
  • avoid developing land of high productive value and areas prone to sea level rise.

Most feedback supported building up existing urban areas rather than building out. But there were a range of views.

Development principles

  • Development of any selected option should support good urban design within the development area (streets, open spaces, built environment, walking and cycling and should have good access to sun and natural light)
  • Streams, coastlines, areas of native vegetation within development areas are protected and enhanced
  • New stand-alone greenfield urban areas and areas of expansion should be of a sufficient size to support local neighbourhood services and community facilities
  • Infill or redevelopment areas should support an improved network of centres and multi-modal transport options and provide good access to open space
  • Growth areas will be subject to structure/master planning before rezoning and development occurs, identifying areas to be set aside

Credit: Nelson City Council

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