Shady business

Access to sun - what's the deal?

The District Plan doesn't guarantee sun for residents

Enjoy the sun this summer – who knows, it may be in short supply in the future, if the draft District Plan gets approved as is.   The District Plan is the rule book for planning in the City and big changes are proposed.

One key change is that the proposed rules covering almost all the inner city suburbs, and quite a few sites elsewhere, will require dwellings to have just two hours of daylight.  Not sunlight – daylight.

And that’s for new dwellings.  The worse news is - for neighbours of new dwellings, there’s no guarantee of any direct light whatsoever.  Under the new Plan, a developer can buy next door, build six storeys close to your boundary, and you get no say into the process AT ALL.  Whether you own or rent, this is a shady proposition.

The problem

By loosening up the rules on what developers have to do, and when people get a say, the draft Plan allows dwellings to go up that have very little access to sunlight, and can shut out the sun for others.

This is bad for residents, and bad for the environment, since sunlight is a free way of heating your home, and loss of light affects everything from mental wellbeing to gardening.

The solution

LIVE WELLington says we can do density well with more housing and adequate sunlight.  Lots of cities do it - it just needs thoughtful planning. Everyone - existing and new residents - can have a warm, dry place to live with enough sunlight - through attention to quality with good design and careful siting. 

To do this we first need to tell Council to change their draft Plan.

This is one of several changes needed to make the draft Plan work for everyone, and deliver the housing we need while looking after the things that matter.

What you can do.

Make a submission on the District Plan.  Hurry – submissions close 14 December 2021.

Find out more including how to make your submission.