Franklin and Unitary (April 2014)

Franklin subdivision rules squashed by unitary plan

The old Franklin Council District Plan rules are under attack again.  After being finalised by the Environment Court thirteen years after notification they were operative for only months before being rewritten by the Auckland City Council under their proposed Unitary Plan. 

The hard fought right to subdivide using transferable titles is now all but being extinguished by Council's proposed Plan.  South of Auckland there will only be very small pockets where transferable titles can be moved to – and these are generally located where they won't be worth as much!

If you have titles to sell, or want to buy them in and use them during the window of opportunity that exists, you will need to act fast.  Until the public submission process is out of the way, the new rules have little weight.  If fully adopted, the rules of the Unitary Plan will force transferable titles to be relocated outside of the Environmental Enhancement Overlay Area (EEOA) thus decreasing their value.

The EEOA area covers most of the rural area south of the metropolitan area, including that land surrounding Pukekohe.  There are relatively minor areas of land outside this along the border with Waikato and Hauraki but some of these also have other overlays restricting the transfer of titles.

If these changes are ratified by Council the only rural subdivision that you will be able to do within the EEOA area will be boundary adjustments and relocation between adjacent lots, where no new lots are created.

Across the border in Waikato and Hauraki the Franklin Rules will only apply until those Councils decide to notify a plan change.  I see transferable titles likely to disappear before too long in Waikato, as it seems that they don't entertain this idea.  Hauraki only has a small area of the old Franklin District and I'm not convinced that they have the will to change this after just going through a major Plan Review.  

Titles are generally available on the market to suit most situations, however the supply and demand can affect their price at times.

This is yet another example of landowners' opportunities disappearing.  Rural subdivision is getting much harder and is generally better done sooner rather than later.  In the Waikato a number of properties have just lost the ability to subdivide through a rule lifting the minimum parent lot size to 20ha … and I believe this will go much higher before long.

If you are interested to find out how the changes may affect you, feel free to give me a call and discuss your particular situation. 

Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Coromandel, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty.  For further information call 0800 268 632 or email


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