​​​​7.1 Purpose 

​​​​​a) The Central City of Hamilton is the heart of the Waikato region. It is the primary centre for commercial, civic and social activities, and is the region’s cultural and recreational hub.​
b)​ Although Hamilton is growing, the unplanned dispersal of retail and office development under the previous planning framework has contributed to the underperformance of some elements of the Central City with consequential effects on its function, amenity and vitality. It is essential that the Central City supports and encourages investment and growth through planning for development and urban design. Council’s vision is for the Central City to be at the core of this growth and to guide development towards achieving a unique character that is representative of and enhances the City’s social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing.​
c)​ The Hamilton Central City Local Area Plan (LAP) and six City Strategies (Access Hamilton, Active Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, Hamilton Urban Growth and Social Wellbeing) provide guidance on how this can be achieved. The LAP presents an overarching “people first” vision for the Central City. It identifies the importance of pedestrian movements for people of all levels of mobility to ensure that Hamilton develops as a successful and vibrant destination that people want to be a part of. It outlines the importance of providing for a diverse mix of uses and users within the Central City, and the significance of an attractive setting to encourage business and commercial activities. This is supported by the themes discussed throughout the City’s strategy documents.​
d)​ Derived out of the LAP, four distinct precincts have been identified within the Central City (refer Volume 2, Appendix 5, Figure 5-1 Central City Zone Precinct Plan). The LAP identifies the desired character of the precincts and strategies for guiding future development and intensification within them. These strategies have helped inform this chapter of the District Plan, where objectives, poli​cies and rules seek to guide the growth and development of the Central City in a sustainable manner. ​
e)​ Building on the outcomes of the LAP, Council has also identified six ‘key development sites’ that it believes are strategically located and have the potential to act as catalyst developments to encourage and set the tone for future development within the surrounding locality. Specific guidance is provided within this Plan as to the form and function of development that is likely to assist in enhancing the social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing of the Central City. The key development sites are identified in Volume 2, Appendix 5, Figure 5-9 and the desired outcomes described in Volume 2, Appendix 1.4: Plan Administration – Design Guides and Design Assessment Criteria. ​
​f)​The Central City will be characterised by its enhanced relationship with the Waikato River, and built form and land-use activities that enable connection with and contribute positively to provide for a continuous riverfront promenade.
7.1 Purpose

7.1.1 Precinct 1 – Downtown Precinct

a) The Downtown Precinct is bounded to the east by the western banks of the Waikato River; by London Street to the north, Tristram Street to the west and lots fronting Hood Street to the south (refer Volume 2, Appendix 5, Figure 5-1).
b)​ The Downtown Precinct will provide for the largest proportion of the region’s commercial growth over the next 30 years. In order to achieve both commercial growth and higher residential densities within this precinct, taller building height is encouraged, providing buildings are well designed, adverse effects are mitigated, are appropriate to their setting and achieve public amenity bonuses to safeguard pedestrian amenities at ground level.
c)​ To attract and support ongoing growth, continued development of an attractive, pedestrian-orientated Central City will be promoted. In particular, the precinct will be characterised by its relationship with the Waikato River, and built form and land-use activities that contribute positively to the public realm.
d)​ The Downtown Precinct will continue to be supported by on-going improvements to the public realm, building on the success of design improvements to Victoria Street, strengthened connections to the river, the transport centre, Wintec Campus and other destinations. ​
e)​ At street level, there will be a requirement for active building frontages, including retail, dining and entertainment (refer Volume 2, Appendix 5, Figure 5-7: Active Frontages Overlay Plan). Above ground level, high-density commercial offices and residential use will be encouraged. Collectively these measures will assist to enhance vitality and public safety. The images in Figure 7.1.1f illustrate the outcomes sought within Precinct 1.

Figure 7.1.1f:
Illustrative outcomes for Precinct 1 – Downtown Precinct

Possible future treatment of Anglesea Street/Ward Street intersection – with safe and convenient access across Anglesea Street, high-quality streetscape treatment and active ground-floor uses.

A possible future link from Victoria Street to the Waikato River, providing public access and an activated through-site link.

Promotion of pedestrian priority, human-scale development and a high-quality streetscape environment.

Active public spaces result from outdoor dining areas.

7.1.2 Precinct 2 – City Living Precinct

a) The City Living Precinct includes: ​
​i.​The area bounded by London, Tristram and Mill Streets and lots fronting Victoria Street to the north of Precinct 1, and ​
​ii.​The area bounded by Collingwood and Hill Street to the north, Tristram Street and Ruakiwi Road to the west, Anglesea Street to the east and Cobham Drive to the south (see Volume 2, Appendix 5, Figure 5-1).​
b)​ With significant potential for comprehensive development, the City Living Precinct will grow to become a vibrant, mixed-use residential centre, supporting small to medium scale office and commercial activities within the heart of Hamilton. Development within this precinct shall be guided by a combination of activity standards and design assessment criteria to encourage a predominantly residential, mixed-use and multi-level development. It is likely opportunities for comprehensive development will occur on the larger amalgamated sites.​
c)​ As a high-amenity living and working precinct, this area will be characterised by ‘human-scale’, safe, pedestrian-friendly streets and open spaces, and high-quality, sustainable buildings that contribute positively to the public realm.​
d)​ In conjunction with better connections to existing open space, the City Living Precinct will encourage new mid-block connections to break down the large blocks; pocket parks and community open space to support living and working in the area; and high-amenity apartment living as part of comprehensive, master-planned developments. The images in Figure 7.1.2e illustrate the outcomes sought within Precinct 2. ​

Figure 7.1.2e:
Illustrative outcomes for Precinct 2 – City Living Precinct

Potential future pedestrian amenity and streetscape quality along northern Anglesea Street.

High-quality mixed-use development with active ground floor uses.

Incorporation of pocket parks and high-amenity open space with mixed-use developments.

High-quality mixed-use development with active ground floor uses.

7.1.3 Precinct 3 – Ferrybank Precinct

a) The Ferrybank Precinct is bounded by Knox Street and Sapper Moore-Jones Place to the north, the Waikato River to the east, Anzac Parade and the Waikato River to the south and Anglesea Street to the west (refer Volume 2, Appendix 5, Figure 5-1). ​
b)​ The Ferrybank Precinct will continue to grow as the civic, community, cultural and tourism centre of Hamilton. It will build on its proximity to the Downtown retail and dining activities by providing potential for similar activities, particularly along Victoria and Knox streets. In addition, cultural and tourism activities will be encouraged along the eastern side of Victoria Street, close to existing attractions such as the Waikato River, ArtPost, St Peter’s Cathedral, Hamilton Rowing Club and the Waikato Museum.​
c)​ Commercial development above active ground-floor uses (e.g. dining, retail) will be encouraged, particularly to the west of Victoria Street, to enliven the public realm, and assist in establishing a vibrant environment.​
d)​ Heritage and character buildings within the Ferrybank Precinct will be protected and maintained by promoting sympathetic yet contemporary design responses in the surrounding development. The images in Figure 7.1.3e illustrate the outcomes sought within Precinct 3. ​
Figure 7.1.3e: Illustrative outcomes for Precinct 3 – Ferrybank Precinct

Promote active, tourism-focused uses along the riverfront in this location.

Retain and enhance the lower riverfront walk and cycleway.

Retain and enhance existing character and heritage buildings.

7.1.4 Policy Framework of the Chapter

a)​ The chapter is structured to provide a policy framework that applies to the whole Central City zone, as well as a specific policy framework that is relevant to the precincts described above. Rules and standards included in this chapter provide a regulatory framework to ensure the Central City grows and develops in accordance with the vision for the area, as detailed within the Council’s Central City LAP and the six City Strategies.​
Page reviewed: 06 May 2019 2:13pm