City growth plan adopted

Published on 04 July 2024

New subdivision at Tamakuku.

Palmerston North City Council and Horizons Regional Council have agreed this week on the plan for housing and business growth across the city, and wider district, for the next 30 years.

Both councils adopted the Future Development Strategy this week. It will now be used as the blueprint for where and how growth can happen, what infrastructure will be needed, and possible constraints on building in some areas. 

Our strategy proposes a balanced approach to growing Palmy, which includes increasing density in some areas within the city, along with some greenfield expansion around the edges.  

The plan for accommodating for growth within the city includes introducing a new medium residential zone in some areas, along with infill housing such as granny flats or subdividing existing properties. Greenfield expansion for homes includes plans to rezone land in Aokautere and Kākātangiata on the western edge of the city towards Longburn to meet demand over the next 30 years. 

Following feedback from the community in public submissions, changes were made to some of the plans for expansion at Te Utanganui, to the northeast of the city. These changes are: 

  • removing 2 long-term growth areas in Te Utanganui in response to the community’s views on productive agricultural soils near Bunnythorpe 
  • including 4 new properties to investigate for industrial growth and one new possible area for residential growth
  • transport and stormwater changes in Te Utanganui Masterplan to better enable industrial development in the North East Industrial Zone.

A joint steering group was set up for the project which included 3 elected members from each council. This group recommended a range of changes which were later adopted by both councils. 

These include: 

  • the need for further work to be done on city-wide stormwater risk, flood risk and flood protection infrastructure to inform the next future development strategy, which will be reviewed in 3 years 
  • greater recognition of the needs of the Pasifika community in the strategy
  • concerns around village severance in Bunnythorpe will be taken into account in the planning of the Manawatū Regional Freight Ring Road 
  • increased consideration of economic constraints, future landfill capacity, and natural landscapes when planning for growth 
  • enhanced processes to better reflect the environmental impact of the different growth scenarios.

Mayor Grant Smith says  the strategy will be reviewed in 3 years. 

“It’s great to have reached agreement on a cohesive strategy for Palmerston North that will allow us to plan and provide for our future needs in a way that balances demand for growth but also our unique environment. We want to thank everyone who provided feedback and formal submissions to help shape the strategy.”