Peacockes Plan Change 5: closes 5th November

This post adds a bit of depth to Living Streets Kirikiriroa Hamilton’s submission to Peacocks: Plan Change 5, which closes 5 November 2021.  Living Streets Kirikiriroa is the local branch of Living Streets Aotearoa.  We limited our submission to supporting 4 parts and asking for discussion on the Neighbourhood Centre Zone

One – We support – ‘Buildings should be limited to a maximum of 5 storeys in height’ Chapter 4 (MRZ-PREC1-PSP:05) –. Here we quote from Jan Gehl’s book ‘Cities for People’ pages 53 & 54 ‘Contact between building and street is possible from the lowest five floors. Contact with the city quickly dissipates above the fifth floor’ and from Thomas More’s  ‘Utopia’ – ‘Their houses are three storeys high’ (p7). We do think the ideal is a mix of heights and styles, preferably not more than 4 storeys.

Vathorist Amersfoort NL

Two – We support – ‘The extent to which subdivision is designed to create a walk-able and cycle-able block pattern that provides clear, direct access to commercial centres and public transport’ Appendix 1.3 p43 – a).

Three – We support – ‘The extent to which cul-de-sacs are minimised, and if proposed, are designed to be short and provide for pedestrian and cycle connections’. This includes routes, especially to schools, for pedestrians and cyclists. Appendix 1.3 p43 – ‘j)  

We also want developers to provide ‘clear, direct access’ between neighbourhoods and cul-de-sacs that provide ‘pedestrian and cycle connections’ between neighbourhoods. An example of poor design is the Snell Dr / Insoll Ave Block, which does not have a north/south mid-block cut through, making it a long walk between the Porritt area (Winstone Ave) and the Enderley area (Blake St). These neighbourhoods are next to each other, but poorly connected.

Google

Four – We support – ‘Bus stops are to be provided within the road to minimise delays to public transport services’ Appendix 15 p42. This is similar to what happens in Melbourne (‘When a tram stops, you stop’) and North America, where you are not allowed to pass a school bus dropping off and picking up passengers. We think the safety and efficiency benefits for bus users are self-explaining.

We seek a decision on – Chapter 6A – Neighbourhood Centre Zone – here we are looking for more than a calculation between “number of households equals X number of retail outlets”. We would like to understand why some of Hamilton’s newest suburbs have some of the lowest measured numbers of people walking (link), the retailers’ ability to negotiate with (and maybe monopolised) owners of neighbourhood centre zones, and the ability for the centre to expand/contract/repurpose over time.

Flagstaff neighbourhood centre, with footpath access built to absolute minimum standard

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