Separation is often the most effective method of mitigating effects such as noise, vibration, vehicle emissions, lighting/glare and dust on people in houses. In general, the greater separation distances will result in reduced noise, vibration and other impacts, and improve outdoor amenity, such as the use of decks and gardens.
The Transport Agency seeks for houses to be located outside of a state highway ‘buffer area’, which extends up to 40m from the traffic lanes. However, in constrained urban areas and in some other situations it can be impractical to restrict residential development to outside the desired ‘buffer area’.
Houses can be built in the wider ‘effects area’, extending from 40m to up to 100m from the traffic lanes.
In both the ‘buffer area’ and the ‘effects area’, the Transport Agency seeks controls to ensure dwellings and other noise sensitive activities are designed/treated to ensure internal noise levels are reasonable (to protect against sleep disturbance and provide reasonable indoor noise amenity).
In the ‘buffer area’, the NZ Transport Agency also seeks controls to ensure dwellings and other sensitive activities are designed/treated to ensure internal vibration levels are reasonable.