1.4.1  Subdivision Design Guide Purpose

This section provides design guidance for any subdivision undertaken within the City. It contains general guidance for subdivision in any zone, as well as specific guidance for subdivision in the General Residential Zone.

The assessment criteria for subdivision, outlined in Section 1.3.3, require applications to be assessed against the Subdivision Design Guide. Information Requirement - Subdivision Concept Plan - also requires consideration against the Subdivision Design Guide outlined here. How to Use the Design Guide

Applications for subdivision shall include an assessment against the Design Guidance included in this Appendix as they are relevant to the nature and scale of the subdivision proposed. 

Section General Design Guidance and section General Residential Zone apply to all subdivision, except: ​

  • residential subdivision creating four or less residential lots; or
  • ​residential subdivisions that are based on the layout and pattern of occupation associated with a previously approved or permitted residential development​.

Where necessary, in regard to any relevant criterion that is not met, the applicant shall explain:

i. Whether site constraints inhibit the ability to address the criterion.

ii. How the intention of the criterion is met by the proposal.

iii. Whether the proposal represents a better design solution than that sought by the criterion.

1. Acceptable means of compliance for the provision, design and construction of infrastructure is contained within the Hamilton City Infrastructure Technical Specifications. General Design Guidance

Design Element 1: Public Interfaces

a) Public open spaces should be bounded by public transport corridors where possible (refer Figure 1.4.1a).

b) Where a transport corridor boundary is not practicable, private-way boundaries with public open spaces should be provided to ensure that buildings front on to public open spaces (refer Figure 1.4.1b).

c) Private ways where abutting public open spaces should ensure sightlines to the public open space via permeable fencing (see rule 15.4.6).

Figure 1.4.1a: Poorly located public open space, lacking boundaries with public transport corridors

Figure 1.4.1b: Subdivision layout
• Well located public open space (A), with boundaries to public transport corridor and private ways.
• Clear and straight pedestrian and cycle links with maximum lengths and fence height limits providing improved connectivity and following CPTED principles.

Design Element 2: Pedestrian Accessways

Pedestrian accessways should:

a) Be designed in a manner consistent with CPTED principles principles – facilitating passive surveillance and adequate lighting where appropriate (refer Figures 1.4.1e and 1.4.1f).

Figure 1.4.1e: Cross section showing a well designed interface between allotments and a pedestrian accessway. Low, visually permeable fences and walls, low cut planting and adequate lighting creates a ‘safer’ public space

b) Include clear and coherent direction signs.

c) Be of an easy gradient and where possible avoid the need for steps​.

Figure 1.4.1f: Poorly designed interface with pedestrian accessway. High, visually impermeable fences, poor lighting and landscaping prevents passive surveillance

Design Element 3: Public Open Spaces

a) All public open spaces should be of an appropriate size and dimensions to allow for their anticipated primary function. Land to be vested as public open space will be accepted by the Council only if it is suitable for the intended functions. 

b) Subdivision layout should provide, where appropriate, opportunities for connections that support the integration of pedestrian and cycling networks within and between the transport and open space networks (refer Figure 1.4.1g).

c) Public open spaces should be designed in a manner consistent with CPTED principles.

d) All public open spaces should:

i. Incorporate natural features that contribute to the functioning of ecological corridors, transport corridors and stormwater functions, where relevant.

ii. Look to incorporate existing trees and features of interest (natural and cultural).

iii. Provide recreational amenity .

iv. Contribute to the development of a coherent open space network.

v. Be easily accessible where appropriate for all aspects of the community. 

vi. Be provided as identified on any relevant Structure Plan.

e) Walking and cycle paths should be provided where appropriate within the public open space network and should be well connected: 

i. Through the public open space network.

ii. With adjacent streets.

iii. With other open spaces, community facilities and any other likely destinations.

f) The provision of public open space under high-voltage transmission lines will be considered on a case-by-case basis having regard to the appropriate use of the land.

g) Neighbourhood parks should be reasonably flat and be designed and located to provide a focal point for a neighbourhood (refer Figure 1.4.1h).​

h) Where required, car parking should be accessible, appropriately landscaped and designed so that traffic movement can occur in a safe and efficient manner.

Figure 1.4.1g:
Public open spaces designed and located to integrate pedestrian and cycling networks with the open space network

 Design Element 4: Transport Network Layout

a) The proposed transport network layout should:

i. Create sufficient separation distances and space to provide for safe vehicle access to and from the transport network.

ii. Where possible avoid the need for direct vehicle access from allotments on to the strategic or arterial transport network.

iii. Minimise local transport corridor connections to arterial or strategic transport corridors.

iv. Protect, provide for and be integrated with any planned transport corridors identified in Structure Plans or by designations.​

Figure 1.4.1h: Public open spaces designed and located to be a key focal point of the neighbourhood, particularly adjoining uses

v. Create an accessible, walkable neighbourhood by:

  • Providing a highly connected network of transport corridors that enables relatively direct trips in and between neighbourhoods and to local activity points (such as shops, parks, schools and passenger transport stops).
  • Avoiding transport infrastructure designs that disadvantage mobility impaired, pedestrians and cyclists by hindering their ability to move safely and easily. 

vi. Provide links for pedestrians and cyclists and use of passenger transport for daily activities that create an attractive, friendly, efficient, connected, safe and accessible environment. 

vii. Enhance personal safety and perceptions of safety and minimise potential for crime, vandalism and fear.

viii. Avoid large blocks as these increase the trip lengths between points reducing connectivity, accessibility and the attractiveness of walking or cycling.

ix. Unless physically constrained avoid culs-de-sac and other layouts that reduce transport network connectivity. 

x. Provide for strong connections to existing, committed and proposed development in adjacent areas, to help with connection and integration.​

b) In accordance with the transport corridor hierarchy, the layout should provide a logical and legible network of connected transport corridors, these corridors should:

i. Contribute to a transport network that is accessible for the whole community by maximising connections and opportunities for route and mode choice.

ii. Provide local or collector transport corridors for safe property access.

c) The hierarchy of transport corridors should be reinforced by incorporating design elements appropriate to the transport function and surrounding land use (guidance is available in Appendices 15-4 and 15-6). This may include using landscaping, street materials, and space allocation (e.g. carriageway widths) to signal changes in hierarchy that directs through-traffic to and along higher-order transport corridors and encourages lower speeds in residential or pedestrian-oriented environments.

d) When considering layouts that connect to existing areas the effects of that connection, such as increased traffic volumes, should be compatible with the form and function of the existing transport network and the surrounding land use.

Design Element 5: Landscaping and Vegetation

a) Subdivision layout should seek to provide opportunities for retaining existing mature trees .

b) Streetscape should reflect the functions and characteristics of the road type in the network with larger, uniform and more formally organised trees on major transport corridors and smaller, less-regimented variation along local streets.

1. Guidance on acceptable approaches to the selection and location of street tree planting is contained within the Hamilton City Infrastructure Technical Specifications. General Residential Zone

This section provides design guidance for any General Residential Zone subdivision undertaken within the City which propose to create more than four vacant fee-simple lots.

Design Element 1: Block and Allotment Layout and Orientation

a) Where possible blocks should be no more than two allotments deep (refer Figures 1.4.1i and 1.4.1j).

Figure 1.4.1i: Subdivision layouts creating deep blocks with large numbers of rear sites are to be discouraged
​Figure 1.4.1j: Subdivision layout creating blocks no more than two allotments deep and maximising the creation of front sites is to be encouraged

b) Allotments should be orientated so that dwellings can be located in a manner where their front door and main living area face the adjacent transport corridor – rear sites should generally be avoided (refer Figure 1.4.1k). 

Figure 1.4.1k: Allotments oriented to enable dwelling designs that can front the transport corridor

c) Block length should be limited to ensure high levels of accessibility and connectivity.

d) Blocks and allotments should be designed to enable good sunlight and daylight into future dwellings. This can be achieved by:

i. Aligning roads north/south and allotments east/west where possible.

ii. Providing south-facing allotments with north-facing backyards for outdoor living.

iii. Ensuring sunlight access to transport corridors, including the selection of trees to allow sunlight to penetrate through winter.

Figure 1.4.1l: Blocks and allotments have been located and designed to ensure dwellings and allotments receive a good level of sunlight


e) Through allotments should be avoided (refer Figure 1.4.1m).

Figure 1.4.1m: Blocks and allotments should be located and designed to avoid the creation of rear and through allotments

f) Culs-de-sac should be avoided where possible. Where they are proposed as part of a subdivision, the applicant shall provide:

i. Justification and reasons why a more integrated movement network cannot be provided.

ii. How the proposal manages to achieve appropriate connectivity and accessibility.

g) Where they cannot be avoided, culs-de-sac should be straight and short (unless physically constrained for example by topography, infrastructure or geotechnical factors)​ (refer Figure 1.4.1n).

Figure 1.4.1n: Where provided, culs-de-sac should be straight and short

h) Where culs-de-sac cannot be avoided, they should, where appropriate, provide pedestrian and cycle links to other streets and/or open spaces at their heads to create connectivity and accessibility (refer Figure 1.4.1o) 

Figure 1.4.1o: Where vehicle connections cannot be made culs-de-sac should include, where appropriate,  pedestrian and cycle links 

i) More than one private-way accessing on to a cul-de-sac should be discouraged where possible.  

Where this is proposed, the applicant shall provide justification and reasons showing how the proposal will achieve appropriate connectivity (including safe pedestrian access), how CPTED principles, visitor parking, emergency access and refuse collection are addressed.​

Page reviewed: 07 Sep 2020 11:47am