Residential activity can now begin in earnest in the upper floors of buildings in the central commercial zone, in inner-city Hastings.

Submissions regarding the plan were heard by the District Plan hearings committee in March this year, with all submitters supportive of the changes, though some wanted minor adjustments.

The hearings committee made recommendations to council, which were approved in June this year.

There were no appeals to the Environment Court, meaning residential activity in upper floors of buildings in the central commercial zone are now permitted within the District Plan.

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Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said this was a significant step towards making the city centre more people-friendly, at the same time as providing more residential options away from the district's prime productive land.

"We are delighted that we are making progress to bring this vision to life making our city a vibrant hub buzzing with people and activity."

Under the banner of Hastings Alive! Plans are also in place to enhance and develop the city's streets and street amenities, green spaces, hospitality spaces, laneways and pedestrian links.

Council economic development, growth management and urban development portfolio holder Damon Harvey said enabling people to live in the central city was an important component of the overall revitalisation plan.

"Hastings District Council has been working hard and committed to a significant investment in the inner city.

"We are now placed to work with property owners to give people apartment-style living options in a city centre that is being designed with people in mind – whether for living, work or entertainment."

The aim of the variation is to promote inner city living and mixed use development in the CBD above shops and other commercial activities.

Having people living in the heart of the city will contribute to its vibrancy by supporting commercial activities and services, as well as improve community safety with a 24-hour presence of people in the city, Hazelhurst said.

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It also provides another housing opportunity for the district while using urban land in an efficient and sustainable way.

The variation is one of a number of activities taking place to realise the council's Long Term Plan vision for making Hastings an attractive place to reside and do business in.

HOW IT WILL WORK:

Inner-city Hastings is of parts of Russell St North and South, Market St North and South, Heretaunga St East and West, Queen St West, Eastbourne St West, and Avenue Rd, West.

People can now start building subject to building consent.

Residential activities and/or comprehensive residential development which is above-ground floor level is a permitted activity.

Minimum net floor area for residential units is Studio: 40m2, 1 Bedroom: 50m2, 2 bedroom: 70m2 and 3 or more bedrooms: 90 m2.

The plan also permits internal alterations and/or internal safety alterations necessary for the primary purpose of improving structural performance, fire safety or physical access and includes buildings within the Russell St or Queen St East Historic Areas.