Lot layout is often the most enduring legacy of development.
It is therefore central to a WSD approach that planning provisions allow for a flexible and responsive development form. 'Clustered development' is a potential mechanism to increase density or built form in appropriate areas of a site or catchment in order to preserve the balance of area for ecosystem services. Additional benefits of clustering include:
- Reducing impervious surfaces, thereby reducing requirements for stormwater management
- Reducing capital costs through reduced infrastructure per lot/unit
- Living roof and pervious paving technologies become more affordable with increased densities, and these approaches subsequently mitigate the need for larger stormwater management responses such as detention ponds.
- Directing development to the most amenable sites in terms of aspect and constraints
- An increased level of open space, providing associated market premiums
- The potential for incorporated groups to manage private commons and enhanced amenities
- A heightened sense of community and security, and a critical mass for public transportation.
Often clustering requires an increased level of landscape amenity to balance and mitigate dense built form. This includes enhanced streetscapes and open space amenity, which also ultimately provides the developer with an added value product. Effective design can provide for both increased density and privacy through the careful handling of private to public transitions.
Clustered development is more frequently the result of a structure plan or comprehensive development plan, which precedes resource consent. This is where facilitation between various council departments and land developers is important.
Examples of clustered developments which respond to the natural or cultural landscape are shown in Figure 20.