​​​​​​25.7.2 Objectives and Policies: Network Utilities and the Electricity National Grid Corridor

These objectives and policies apply to all zones, and need to be read alongside the Regional Policy Statement and relevant national policy statements, including the National Policy Statement on Electricity Transmission, National Policy Statement on Telecommunications and the National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation.

​Objective Policies​
25.7.2.1
The importance of network utilities to support the development and functioning of Hamilton is recognised.​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
25.7.2.1a
The positive effects and​​ importance of network utilities, including the Electricity National Grid Corridor, for the social and economic wellbeing of Waikato region and Hamilton shall be recognised.​
25.7.2.1b
The operation, maintenance and upgrading of and access to existing network utilities shall not be adversely affected by subdivision, land use and development. ​
25.7.2.1c
Subdivision, use and development in the Electricity National Grid Corridor shall not adversely affect the safe and efficient operation, maintenance of and access to the electricity transmission network.​
25.7.2.1d
Sensitive Land Uses including schools, childcare facilities, residential buildings or hospitals, shall not establish close to  high-voltage electricity transmission lines.​
25.7.2.1e
The alteration or extension of existing development already within the Electricity National Grid Corridor shall be provided for where it does not compromise the electricity transmission network.​
25.7.2.1f
Reverse-sensitivity effects shall be avoided. ​
25.7.2.1g
Network utility infrastructure shall be deployed in conjunction with land development.​
25.7.2.1h
All development shall be adequately serviced by network utilities including Three Waters, gas, electricity and telecommunications.​
25.7.2.1i
New network utilities shall have adequate capacity to support the potential scale and timing of development to be served.​
25.7.2.1j
Broadband infrastructure shall be established and operated throughout the City.​

Explanation

This objective and its policies recognise that network utility structures and services are critical for the functioning of the City. The policies require that an appropriate level of services must be planned in advance of new development, which is particularly the case in greenfields. It is important that the services provided are of sufficient capacity to accommodate the level of growth proposed.

There is potential for existing network utility infrastructure to be adversely affected by subdivision, use and development of surrounding land uses. Changes in land uses can affect access to the network utility or affect its ongoing operation and maintenance. Where network utility infrastructure is already existing, surrounding land uses need to be carefully managed to protect both the functioning of the utilities and to avoid risks to people and property. Sensitive land use should not be located where future conflicts are predictable, to avoid reverse-sensitivity effects where possible.

Reverse sensitivity effects include recognising the operation of the Waikato Hydro Scheme as it relates to Waikato River levels through Hamilton. Development and activities could compromise the operating levels for the Waikato Hydro Scheme if careful consideration of location and design of three waters infrastructure, walkways, cycleways, boat ramps, pontoons and jetties and the like are not taken into account.

Broadband is critical to the progress of the City. The Hamilton Economic Development Strategy includes an outcome that Hamilton has leading broadband infrastructure.

​Objective Policies​
25.7.2.2
Network utilities (excluding renewable electricity generation activities) are located, designed and operated to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on amenity and the surrounding environment.​
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
25.7.2.2a
N​​etwork utilities shall be designed, located, installed, operated and maintained to:​
i.​ Minimise the potential discharge of contaminants to the environment.​
ii.​ To the extent practicable avoid potential adverse effects on the health, safety and wellbeing of people and communities.​
iii.​ Minimise effects on the scale and character of surrounding land uses.​
iv.​ Minimise adverse visual effects as far as practicable through design and location, landscaping and screening.​
v.​ Be placed underground where practicable, excluding stormwater.​
vi.​ Allow for the provision and efficient operation of other network utilities.​
vii.​ Co-locate or co-site where possible.​
viii.​ Minimise adverse effects to adjacent properties.​
25.7.2.2b
Network utilities that generate electromagnetic or radio frequency fields shall comply with national and international standards as specified in the relevant National Environmental Standard.​
25.7.2.2c
Network utility structures are to be in accordance with all relevant National Environmental Standards. ​
25.7.2.2d
To the extent practicable network utility structures should not be located within areas of high amenity values listed in Volume 2, Appendix 13: Areas with Historic Heritage Values or Visual Amenity Values. ​

Explanation

This objective recognises that network utility structures can adversely affect the environment and amenity, and seeks to manage potential adverse effects, particularly through design and location. This objective excludes renewable electricity generation activities in recognition of the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation.

Adverse visual effects can often be managed by putting the services underground. For networks, such as those with cables, that can be located underground, this is the required approach. Where network utility structures are located above ground, particular attention should be given to their design, location and minimising of any adverse visual effects. This can be achieved in a number of ways including screening, careful placement, size and appearance.

In the case of broadband, above-ground deployment of cables will allow rapid, relatively inexpensive and less disruptive installation of fibre to areas where overhead electricity distribution lines already exist. However in the longer term, underground installation is required to reduce visual pollution.

Co-location and co-siting of network utilities may provide environmental benefits in terms of visual amenity. Where possible, opportunities for co-location should be explored. However, it is recognised that co-location is not always possible due to operational issues such as radiofrequency interference, electrical interference and structural capacity.

Health and safety effects can arise from network utilities and their structures. Where electricity national grid corridors already exist, sensitive land use should not locate in close proximity. The National Policy Statement on Electricity Transmission defines sensitive activities.

There are a number of national and international standards that are external to the District Plan but that must be complied with. These are identified in the National Environmental Standards.

​Objective Policies​
25.7.2.3
Increased use and development of renewable energy resources. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
25.7.2.3a
The positive effects of using and developing renewable energy resources, for the environment and economic and social wellbeing, shall be recognised.​
25.7.2.3b
The renewable energy resources of Hamilton (including geothermal, hydro, biomass, solar and wind) shall be recognised and e​ncouraged for their potential contribution to national and local energy production.​
25.7.2.3c
Investigation, identification and assessment of potential sites and energy sources for renewable electricity generation shall be encouraged. ​
25.7.2.3d
Renewable electricity generation activities shall be designed, located, installed, operated and maintained to:​
i.​ Minimise the potential adverse effects to the environment.​
ii.​ Avoid, reduce or displace greenhouse gas emissions.​
iii.​ Maximise the use of the renewable energy resource.​
iv.​ Offset any adverse residual environmental effects with measures or environmental compensation which benefit the local environment and community affected.​
25.7.2.3e
The development and use of small and community-scale distributed renewable electricity generation shall be encouraged, subject to:​
i.​ Acceptable effects on amenity values, especially from noise, visual impacts on neighbourhoods, air emissions, glare and lighting, flicker effects on natural light, steam and odour.​
ii.​ Acceptable effects on water bodies, landscapes and significant natural areas.​
iii.​ An assured standard of long-term maintenance of sites and equipment.​

Explanation

This objective and associated policies recognise that the production and use of renewable electricity resources can have positive effects on the environment and community wellbeing. However, making the best use of renewable resources may adversely impact on other resources and values, such as landscape and local amenity.

The Act requires the District Plan to have particular regard to the benefits derived from the use and development of renewable energy. Although not stated in the Act, these benefits may include security of supply and greater reliability (by diversifying sources of energy), reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, reduction in dependence on the national grid, and reduction of transmission losses. Such use will also add to electricity generation capability on a more sustainable basis.

The National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation recognises that energy demand has been growing steadily and will continue to do so. Renewable electricity can assist in meeting this demand. Policies relating to this objective recognise and provide for renewable electricity generation at a range of scales. “Small and community-scale distributed electricity generation” are promoted by the national policy statement, subject to the local context, which in Hamilton City will involve consideration of urban and suburban amenity values.

​Objective Policies​
25.7.2.4
Efficient operation, maintenance and upgrade of the existing electricity transmission network and to enable the establishment of new electricity transmission resources. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
25.7.2.4a
The national, regional and local benefits of sustainable, secure and efficient electricity transmission shall be recognised.​
25.7.2.4b
The effective operation, maintenance, upgrading and development of the electricity transmission network shall be supported.​
25.7.2.4c
The technical and operational requirements of the network shall be considered. ​
25.7.2.4d
Adverse effects of new transmission infrastructure or major upgrades of​​ existing transmission infrastructure shall be addressed by the route, site and method selection. ​
25.7.2.4e
The reasonable operational, maintenance and minor upgrade requirements of established electricity transmission assets shall be recognised.​
25.7.2.4f
Substantial upgrades of transmission infrastructure shall be used as an opportunity to reduce existing adverse effects of transmission.​
25.7.2.4g
Where practicable, new transmission infrastructure should be avoided in urban environments, areas of high recreational value or amenity, and adjoining sensitive land use. ​
25.7.2.4h
New transmission networks shall in preference be established using the designation process for efficient long-term development, operation and maintenance of electricity transmission infrastructure.​

Explanation

This objective and policies gives effect to the National Policy Statement on Electricity Transmission, which is itself intrinsically linked to the National Environmental Standard for Electricity Transmission Activities. While the national policy statement provides the strategic policy framework, the national environmental standard provides rules for the existing transmission infrastructure. The NPSET has one objective with several components:

  • To recognise the national significance of the electricity transmission network.
  • To facilitate the operation, maintenance and upgrade of the existing transmission network and the establishment of new transmission resources.
  • To manage the adverse environmental effects of the network.
  • To manage the adverse effects of other activities on the network. 
Objective​Policies
25.7.2.5
Amateur Radio Configurations are provided for where they do not have a significant adverse effect on visual amenity and residential character.
25.7.2.5a
Amateur Radio Configurations are designed, constructed and located to minimise adverse effects on existing or anticipated residential character and amenity of adjoining properties or the surrounding neighbourhood.

Explanation

This objective and policy provides for Amateur Radio Configurations in the General Residential Zone and Future Urban Zone. Providing for the activity of Amateur Radio configuration is important given the role they play in emergency response and international telecommunication. However, this requires balancing between providing for Amateur Radio and protecting the community and environment from significant adverse effects on amenity values.

 

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Page reviewed: 17 Mar 2016 3:11pm