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Transport Plan Change 79- does it impact your development?

Updated: Feb 14

You may remember the removal of parking minimums from the Auckland Unitary Plan that occurred in February 2022. This was a requirement under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS- UD), which seeks to enable intensification and to ensure good access to facilities and services by active modes and public transport. Recently, Auckland Council released several proposed plan changes to the Unitary Plan, including further changes to the transport provisions (called Proposed Plan Change 79). The purpose of this plan change is to reflect and deliver the intent of the NPS-UD and complement Proposed Plan Change 78 (Intensification) (you can find out more about this here). This week’s blog provides high-level information on Proposed Plan Change 79 (PC79).

Plan Change 79 seeks to make amendments to the Auckland Unitary Plan’s transport provisions relating primarily to parking, vehicle access, pedestrian access and lighting.

The following chapters of the AUP(OP) are affected by the changes:

  • Chapter E27 Transport: New standards and assessment criteria are proposed.

  • Chapter E24 Lighting: New artificial lighting standards are proposed to enhance pedestrian safety and wayfinding along private accessways.

  • Chapter E38 Subdivision – Urban: Improving consistency with provision within Chapter E27 Transport.

  • Chapter M Appendices: Documents in Appendix 17 are incorporated by reference, to include materials incorporated by reference; and a new Appendix 23 is proposed, to calculate the required number of accessible parking spaces.

There are a number of significant changes proposed to be made to these provisions. In summary, the proposed changes are as follows:

Accessible Parking

  • Accessible parking for residential developments of 10 or more dwellings is required.

  • New appendix (Appendix 23) is proposed to provide guidelines to determine the required number of accessible parking spaces.

Pedestrian access and safety

  • A pedestrian-only access is required when there is no vehicle access to a residential development.

  • A minimum 1.8m width is required for a pedestrian-only access.

  • A passing bay with a minimum 2.5m width is required if the pedestrian-only access is more than 50m in length. This is to allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely pass each other.

  • Width of pedestrian access when adjacent to a vehicle access:

    1. For developments of 10 -19 dwellings or containing 10-19 parking spaces, a minimum 1.35m width is required, unless alternative pedestrian access is provided.

    2. For developments of more than 20 dwellings or containing more than 20 parking spaces, a minimum 1.8m width is required, unless alternative pedestrian access is provided.

  • Pedestrian access must be vertically separated from trafficable areas, including vehicle maneuvering areas.

  • Pedestrian access must be clear from obstruction.

  • Require pedestrian access to meet gradient and lighting requirements.

Loading Space

Where there is no on-site parking, 1 loading space for developments of 10 or more dwellings is required.

Heavy vehicle access

  • New standards to relevant land use chapters of the AUP(OP) to determine when on-site waste collection is required.

  • New standards under Chapter E27 Transport which require the design of heavy vehicle access to follow appropriate guidelines and address pedestrian and vehicle safety.

Cycle parking and access

  • All residential units which do not have a dedicated parking space must provide secure long-stay bicycle parking.

  • Cycle parking is to be covered, secure and with e-bike charging capability.

  • Requirement for bicycle parking to be located within a non-habitable room, a storage/garden shed or equivalent, a dedicated cycle parking facility or a combination of these, but not to be located within part of the outdoor living space or landscaped area.

  • Cycle parking should have direct access from the road, vehicle access, car parking area or pedestrian-only access.

Electric vehicle charging

New standards to ensure any new parking (covered or uncovered) for residential developments provides for future electric vehicle supply equipment installation, including sufficient space on the switchboards for RCD, appropriately sized mains and the necessary conduit, cable route and/or cable ladders.

Effects of development on the transport network

  • The thresholds in the trip generation standard for residential activities are reduced, meaning the thresholds for resource consent are proposed to be lower. A travel plan is required for subdivision or dwellings of more than 60 dwellings, integrated residential development of more than 100 dwellings and visitor accommodation of more than 60 units.

  • Design of residential development requires consideration of all modes of transport.

Width of vehicle access and speed management requirements

  • Notes are proposed to be added to Chapters E27 and E38 of the Unitary Plan identifying that, where vehicle accessways are proposed, consideration of fire emergency vehicle access is required by the New Zealand Building Code Clause 6.

  • It is proposed to require speed management measures under Chapters E27 and E38 at a maximum of 30m spacing to achieve a maximum operating speed of less than 30km/hr.


  • New standards under Chapter E24 Lighting are proposed which require artificial lighting for pedestrian access in residential zones which serves two or more dwellings where there is no vehicle access or where there are 10 or more parking spaces or 10 or more dwellings (excluding dwellings which have separate pedestrian access provided directly from the front door to the road)

  • It is proposed that a lighting plan must be provided in accordance with appropriate standard (AS/NZS1158.3.1 Lighting for Roads and Public Spaces).

  • A proposed requirement for a reliable electrical source for lighting.


The transport-related provisions under Chapter E38 of the Unitary Plan are aligned with the proposed amendments to E27.

There are a lot of changes proposed to the transport-related provisions! At this stage the changes are still proposed, and you have until 29 September 2022 to make a submission.

Whilst the NPS-UD and Proposed Plan Change 78 seek to enable more residential development and encourages active modes of transport, the proposed amendments to the transportation provisions seem to introduce new standards and guidelines which will require additional consideration to designing access for future residential development, and potentially new reasons for requiring resource consent.

This could mean more space will be required to accommodate the facilities to support active modes of transport and address pedestrian and vehicle safety concerns, which could ultimately have an impact on development yields and costs. However, PC79 does not have immediate legal effect and the full impact on development are yet to be seen.

Want to know more?

Please follow our blog series if you would like more information about the recently notified proposed plan changes in Auckland and know how the plan changes could impact your development. Find out more from our future blogs here - You can also contact our experienced team on or (09) 427 9966.


As with all our blogs this information is preliminary in nature only and we have used our best endeavours to ensure it is correct at the time of writing. It is not intended to substitute for your own investigations or obtaining specific advice on your proposal from professionals. Planning Plus LtdTM is not liable in any way for any errors or omissions.

© Planning Plus Ltd 2023

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