It is rather ironic that as the price of fuel increases, people seeking a rural spot to bring up their families are being forced further and further out from the main centres. With minimal opportunities existing around Tauranga and Hamilton now, the void is being filled by the likes of Hauraki, Matamata-Piako and South Waikato District Councils.
In these districts lie opportunities for the subdivision of a small piece of paradise where you can grow your vegetables, run some beefies or graze a horse, have a menagerie of pets and generally let the kids run amuck.
Hauraki District has a lifestyle zone running along the hills on each side of the plains and also covering the hilly countryside surrounding Waihi. In this zone, it is not uncommon to see several lifestyle blocks cut off a complying 40-hectare block. In an area that is within easy reach of Auckland and other major cities, there appears to be a good market for these blocks.
To the south in Matamata Piako District, where you can be midway between Hamilton and Tauranga, they have generous subdivision rules allowing lifestyle blocks to be subdivided from many older titles. A rule that is commonly used in this District provides farmers with the ability to apply to cut off either a one or two-hectare 'lifestyle' block from the farm, depending on the quality of their land and the title date. The remaining area of the farm must remain over a certain size dictated by the overall land quality. In this District they have also taken a ‘land quality’ approach to general farm subdivision, allowing properties with ‘general quality’ land to subdivide down to a 20-hectare size, whereas ‘high-quality’ land has a 40-hectare minimum area requirement.
Even further south but close enough to the services of Cambridge and Tauranga, South Waikato District Council allows lifestyle blocks as small as a quarter of a hectare to be cut off many rural properties. The Rural Subdivision Rules here allow one new section to be subdivided from a property over 4 hectares in size, with farms over 30 hectares having a possibility to subdivide into three lots.
Councils do regularly review their rules, so you can’t count on all or any of these rules remaining in the long term. You must plan well ahead if you are to maximise the potential of your land. In addition to these size restrictions there are a host of other rules affecting subdivision so, if you are wanting to plan your future with some certainty you must talk to a subdivision specialist. We are happy to give you the time to discuss the full potential of your land so feel free to give us a call and discuss your situation.