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Hauraki Moves for Affordable Housing (November 2018)

Hauraki District Council has recently notified a change to its District Plan to support the need for a supply of affordable housing in New Zealand

The proposed changes come in two forms – reduced sizes for residential sites in several of their towns and allowance for minor dwellings on many urban and rural titles.

Reducing their minimum residential section size from 525 sq. m in Paeroa, Waihi and Paeroa to 450 sq. m will put them closer to, but still much larger (25%) than, the 350 sq. m allowed in the adjoining Western Bay of Plenty District or the central areas of Matamata-Piako District towns.  The earlier minimum size, set only a few years back, was a deliberate attempt by Councillors of the time to stop the subdivision of the old ‘quarter acre’ block which is common in Waihi.  In my mind this rule needs lining up with the rule that allows a density of one dwelling per 350 sq. m of section size in these towns.  We submitted strongly at the time the earlier rule was put in place to no avail and will continue the debate it this time around.  The minimum section size is proposed to remain unchanged at 525 sq m in Ngatea and Kerepehi.

The proposed rule for minor dwellings will allow an additional small dwelling of 50 or 60 sq. m to be established on, wastewater serviced, residential sites exceeding 650 sq. m or unserviced sites exceeding 2,500 sq. m.  In the rural zones minor dwellings will be allowed on sites exceeding 2,500 sq. m.  There are proposed restrictions that will control the perceived effects on both the environment and neighbours. For example, both houses will have to be served by a single access onto the road and in the rural zone the minor dwelling will have to be located within 10m of the main dwelling.  I would love to see the requirement for location relative to the main dwelling increased significantly, because nobody needs a neighbouring household in that proximity in the countryside.  The prescribed dwelling size is also unnecessarily small in my opinion, with 50 sq. m being little more than a motel unit!

If you have any interest in how the District develops and want to be able to make the most of your land, you are well advised to look at these proposed changes on the Hauraki District Council web site and make a submission either in favour or against the rules. Submissions close on November 30, so go to www.hauraki-dc.govt.co.nz and have your say.

You should always make submissions on the rule changes whether you agree or disagree with proposals - don't believe that the rules will end up as Council initially advertise. I have seen cases where the Environment Court makes a ruling quite different to either that originally proposed by Council or that proposed by a submitter. 

If you are planning your future and wish to clarify any subdivision or land use issues, feel free to give me a call. I am happy to discuss the situation with you to see if it is worth pursuing.

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

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