The Coastal Settlement Policy Unit recognises the unique character and locality of the small coastal settlements in Westland District. The policy unit includes the settlements of Okarito, Okuru, Neils Beach, Jackson Bay/Okahu and Bruce Bay. The combination of the natural environment and buildings gives these settlements a distinctive appearance and atmosphere which attracts both residents and visitors alike. Further development should be of a small scale and not dominate the coastal environment.
The settlements are small with no distinctive commercial centre or service areas. Many occupants gain a living from fishing. While there is a small number of permanent residents in all of these settlements, there is also a relatively large holiday population which swells numbers each year and who influence the form and character of each settlement. The rules provide for residential activities and holiday accommodation, and control the height of buildings to two storeys as a maximum. Discretion is retained over activities which are not residential or recreational in character so that careful consideration can be given as to the appropriateness and scale of the enterprise. Specific design controls are not included as in most cases it is the lack of coherent design of buildings and their unique form and appearance that gives each settlement its unique atmosphere. The policy unit consists of one zone, the Coastal Settlement Zone.
Bruce Bay (Makawhio) has been identified as an area where development of a marae might occur. Marae and papakainga are controlled activities throughout the District and will generally be encouraged in locations of traditional significance to Maori such as Makawhio. Council also acknowledges that there is some demand for residential sections in the area and that there are satisfactory building sites, particularly for holiday accommodation. Episodic coastal erosion and flooding is a problem in many of the small coastal settlements, especially Okarito and Hannahs Clearing.
126.96.36.199 Coastal Settlement Zone
A. Permitted Activities
• Any residential or recreational activity which complies with the standards for permitted activities (see Table 5.6) and complies with the general rules in 6.2 and 6.3.
B. Discretionary Activities
• Any residential, recreational, commercial industrial or agricultural activity which complies with the standards for discretionary activities (see Table 5.6).
C. Non-complying Activities
• Any activity which does not fall within the permitted or discretionary categories.
from any adjacent residential site or public place
from any adjacent residential site or public place
(a) Hours of Operation are restricted only for non-residential activities in the Coastal Settlement Zone. The standards aim to ensure the quiet relaxed nature of these coastal areas is maintained in particular during night time hours. It is important that neighbours are not disturbed by activities which operate for extended hours.
(b) Gross Ground Floor Area aims to ensure that the small scale nature of buildings in settlements is preserved. Large buildings particularly bulky buildings have the potential to disrupt residential amenities and other aspects of environmental quality, such as outlook.
(c) Height controls aim to ensure that any building or structure does not adversely impact on the amenities of neighbours, in particular aspects such as sunlight, outlook and privacy. The seven metre height limit for both permitted and discretionary activities ensures that buildings above 2 storeys in height will require an application as a non-complying activity. Height limits are based on existing ground levels and have the effect of keeping new buildings lower in situations where the land slopes downwards from the relevant boundary.
Controls on height in the Coastal Settlement Zone are necessary to ensure the built-up areas remain in scale with the surrounding landscape and that the visual impact of buildings is minimised.
(d) Height in Relation to Boundaries is determined by use of recession planes (refer Appendix D for calculation of recession plane angle). The requirements shall apply to all internal site boundaries for all activities in the zone. Use of the recession plane enables minimum and maximum distances and maximum height of buildings in relation to site boundaries to be determined. Used in conjunction with minimum yard requirements recession planes ensure that overshadowing and loss of outlook is avoided. Non compliance with recession plane controls shall require an application as a non complying activity.
(e) Dwellings are required to have a slightly larger site size than elsewhere in keeping with the character of the zone. However with consideration given to design, location and external appearance and impact on the visual and landscape values of the settlement, more dwellings may be accommodated.
(f) Yards are specified to ensure the effects of an activity on neighbouring landowners and activities are minimised and to maintain amenity values. Yards also allow space for landscaping, access, and for infrastructure and services to be supplied to a site. Stricter standards are set out where non-residential activities, for example commercial and/or industrial activities adjoin a residential use or zone boundary. The greater separation distance will help to ensure that any adverse environmental effects on neighbours are avoided or mitigated.
(g) Site Coverage is controlled to ensure sufficient open space is provided in each settlement. The character of the coastal areas is low density development consistent with the open form of the surrounding landscape, including the sea, and the standards will ensure this atmosphere is maintained.
(h) Glare from neighbouring properties can detrimentally impact on a person's enjoyment of their property especially at night. Light spill from floodlighting to neighbouring properties and glare from reflective materials shall be avoided where this results in adverse effects on neighbours.
(i) Heritage Sites and Buildings scheduled in Appendix A, are protected by the standards. Modification (excluding normal maintenance works) is a discretionary activity. Historic and cultural items and sites, including buildings make a significant contribution to the District's identity and character. Any proposal to modify any of these scheduled sites will be publicly notified.
(j) Signs have less of an impact when set against an urban as opposed to rural context. However very large signs or an excess of signs can impact on the amenities of residential areas, in particular visual and aesthetic values and the overall character of the neighbourhood. The standards specified for signs do not apply to regulatory signs which are required to be erected by the Council, traffic signs erected by the road controlling authority or Council, or signs denoting the names of the street, number of premises, or the location, timetable or other details of any public facility.
(k) Noise standards are set to prevent cumulative increases in background noise levels and to ensure the protection of community health and amenity. Excessive noise levels can have a detrimental impact on environmental quality. Road traffic noise is excluded from the noise standards. Transit New Zealand has developed draft standards for road traffic noise which may be applied to State Highway improvements.
All measurements are to be taken and assessed in accordance with the NZ Standards 6801: 1991 "Measurement of Sound" and 6802: 1991 "Assessment of Environmental Sound". The noise shall be measured with a sound level meter complying with the international standard IE 651 (1979): Sound Level Meter, Type 2.
(l) External storage of commercial or industrial products can be visually offensive and can break up the dominant residential character of an area or impact on the amenity of properties adjoining industrial and/or commercial areas.