Monday, 29 May 2023

Councillor endorsement sought to notify proposed Urban Intensification Variation

The proposed variation would allow for changes to zoning and associated rules and standards of some urban land


Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) will seek endorsement from Elected Members to notify its Urban Intensification Variation to the Proposed District Plan (PDP), at the Full Council Meeting on Thursday 1 June 2023.

QLDC Acting General Manager Planning & Development, David Wallace said the proposed variation would allow for changes to the zoning and associated rules and standards of some urban land in the Queenstown Lakes District, responding to Policy 5 of central government’s National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD).

“We continue to face considerable growth pressure and high demand for a range of housing types in the district. Our current planning system has limited ability to enable the range of homes people want or need,” said Mr Wallace.

“Council has a directive to ensure our urban environments are well-functioning and meet the changing needs of our communities. This variation would enable intensification of our existing urban environments and a diverse range of housing types in suitable locations to provide more choice for our communities.”

Intensification would be proposed in locations across the district including near commercial activities, or areas with existing or planned access to frequent public transport services.

The proposed Urban Intensification Variation would also provide for increased densities and heights of buildings in existing urban environments, allowing for the development of smaller and attached-style housing near public infrastructure.

“Improving our ability to provide more housing choices will encourage a greater range of more affordable options than we currently have,” said Mr Wallace.

“By enabling growth through intensification as opposed to urban sprawl and making it easier for more people to live in an appropriate location, services like public transport that supply those communities will be more efficient, and better utilised.”

If endorsed, the proposed plan variation will be notified in mid July 2023 and then open for public submissions.

Mr Wallace acknowledged there may be apprehension for how increased densities would affect areas in the Queenstown Lakes District renowned for their stunning landscapes, and how future growth would be serviced.

Provisions are included in the variation to ensure appropriate residential amenity is maintained within intensification areas, that any proposed development could be appropriately serviced, and stormwater runoff addressed.

The proposed Urban Intensification Variation would mark the implementation of several outcomes and objectives identified across the Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan 2021, the Joint Housing Action Plan, and the Climate and Biodiversity Plan 2022-2025.

These plans collectively determine how the district will grow, create well-designed neighbourhoods and deliver integrated spatial planning decisions on land use, urban development, transport planning and natural corridor networks which help to reduce emissions, restore indigenous biodiversity, and improve climate change resilience across the district.


Media contact: or call 03 441 1802.

FURTHER INFORMATION | Kā pāroko tāpiri:

Urban Intensification Variation – Endorsement to Notify Report:

Summary of changes to PDP provisions:

Proposed amendments to PDP maps:

Proposed amendments to PDP provisions:

Section 32 Evaluation Report:

National Policy Statement – Urban Development (District Plan Amendments):

Joint Housing Action Plan:

Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan 2021:

Climate and Biodiversity Plan 2022-2025: