Classified residential streets

Classified Streets are Nelson’s busier through routes and include Arterial, Principal and Collector Streets as identified on Planning Map A2.1 in Volume 4 of the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

Classified Streets are Nelson’s busier through routes and include Arterial, Principal and Collector Streets as identified on Planning Map A2.1 in Volume 4 of the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

What do the rules say?

House design (REr.25.1) Any length of wall longer than 5m and sited more or less parallel to the street boundary contains a window or a door.
Where a lot is located on the corner of a Classified and an Unclassified street, the access of the house shall come off the Unclassified street, and both frontages are subject to the Front Fence rule (see below).

Building setback (REr.25.1) Buildings are set back from the street boundary by at least 1.5m.

Garages and cars (REr.25.1) Any garage, carport or accessory building located in a front yard is set back at least 1m further from the street boundary than the wall of the associated residential unit which is nearest to the same road boundary.
The space in front of the entrance to the garage is large enough to park a car without overhanging on the footpath.
Reversing onto the road is not permitted.

Front yard (the area of site within the Residential zone which is located within 4m of a road boundary) (REr.25.1) At least 30% of the front yard is landscaped (which may include planting, lawn, rocks and paved areas with no ability for vehicle access).

Front fence (REr.31.1) For a fence in a front yard or on a road boundary the maximum height does not exceed 1.2m or for any fence over 1.2m in height the total height does not exceed 1.8m, and at least 50% across the entire front boundary is visually permeable (as measured by the total length of the front boundary and the height of the fence).
Visually permeable for front fences means the ability to clearly see through from the street to the front yard of the site, and is determined by a comparison of the solid portion of the fence structure against any gaps provided within the structure, or between fence structures.
The maximum height of a fence adjoining a reserve, walkway or other public space does not exceed 1.2m.
Where board and paling fences are used, structural railings do not face a road, walkway or other public space.
Hedges are also defined as fences.

Access (REr.40) Vehicle access must be provided with visibility splays of 1.5m by 2.0m, and avoiding objects and vegetation over 1.2m in height in those areas.

Corner sites (REr.29) On corner sites, vegetation greater than 1m in height and structures must be set back from the corner at least to a diagonal line joining points on each road boundary 1.5m from the corner of the site (or the point where the road boundaries would meet if extended).

What are the rules aiming to achieve?

  • Creating an interesting and lively streetscape that is overlooked from the houses fronting the street.
  • Encouraging building facades that provide visual interest through off-setting or articulating the building form, with large building facades modulated to read as several buildings, in line with the residential character of the area.
  • Protecting the traffic safety for pedestrians, residents driving in and out of their property, as well as the general flow of traffic on classified roads by banning reverse manoeuvring onto the street.
  • Protecting the traffic safety by ensuring adequate line of sight for vehicles.
  • The rules understand that residents on busier roads need to protect their privacy and block traffic effects such as noise by installing fences across a portion of the property boundary.

Example of how a high, non-permeable fence, combined with blinded windows results in a poor interface between the street and the dwelling.



Example of a low fence and a landscape garden contributing to a pleasant and well-overlooked streetscape on a classified street.


What are the common challenges with building design?  

Locating the dwelling on the lot in such a way that:

  • privacy and noise protection are achieved as well as a good streetscape;
  • access to the rear of the section works, if more than two car parking spaces are required;
  • the on-site manoeuvring area is minimised;
  • it makes the most of the street amenity, tree plantings, and existing vehicle crossings; and
  • it responds appropriately to the layout of the neighbouring dwellings.

Example of a desired outcome for front fences on Classified Streets. The front boundary is left partially open and is partially fenced off.



Example of an acceptable outcome for front fences on Classified Streets, consisting of a combination of lower (approximately 1.2m) and higher (up to 1.8m) elements.


Example of a hedge as a front fence. Among many other benefits, hedges provide a softer appearance than solid fences.


Are there any additional matters of good practice? 

  • Consider combining driveways and / or manoeuvring spaces between two neighbouring lots, to reduce the space it takes up and reduce the number of vehicles crossings over the footpath.
  • Dwellings should be placed on a lot to allow a sunny outdoor living space and provide a useable private back yard with good flows between the main living areas and the backyard.
  • Locate at least a living room, dining room or kitchen on the ground floor at the front of the house. Just a front door and a garage leads to a dwelling that does not overlook the street.
  • Each dwelling should have a sense of address with a visible front door or a well defined entranceway.
  • Consider locating the garage to the side or rear of a dwelling. This also applies to boat or trailer parking.
  • Front fence materials and colours should provide a pleasant human-scaled streetscape. Consider durable materials and colours that fit with the materialisation of the dwelling and the surrounding environment.

Example of good design



Example of good design