Lifestyle Subdivision (July 2011)

Subdivision to free up in Western Bay?

Following a halt in rural subdivision over the last few years I believe we are now going to see some options opening up for subdivision. 

It has to happen very soon if Council, with its large rural base, wants to access the cash flow that subdivision generates. I understand that they may have suffered an 80% drop in income generated from Development Impact Fees in recent times. That obviously leads to much lower growth in the rating base as well. So, where is the future and how long can they afford to take?

We are still helping a number of people subdivide where they have environmental or cultural features of value to the community such as small wetland areas, stream margins or pa sites. And for some, recent new rules have opened up an opportunity to subdivide that additional house that for years Western Bay of Plenty Council has not allowed to be cut off the farm.

Coming up will be opportunities to subdivide horticultural land under a rule that we haven’t had in this district for some time, along with subdivision in the long awaited Minden Lifestyle Zone.

Last month I attended further hearings at Council which were required due to Council having incorrect and insufficient information at the earlier hearings. They have now made considerable changes to the subdivision rules following public submissions and the commissioning of the required traffic modelling study. More realistic numbers of lots should now be allowed in most parts of the zone, however in some localities the subdivision of additional lots will be significantly limited prior to construction of major roading improvements.

Subdivision in the Minden Zone will be more complex than most other areas, with a need to buy transferable development rights from other land owners and provide geotechnical reporting. Neither of these issues are new to us so give us a call if you want to discuss the process.  

Horticultural Land will soon be able to be subdivided into blocks of a size that will be sustainable for productive units. I am waiting for a ruling from the Environment Court after months of negotiation. Horticultural groups have argued that areas of 3 or 4 hectares should suffice and aid economic growth whereas WBOP District Council initially wanted a minimum size of 8 ha.  Hopefully there will be the ability to create lifestyle blocks from any unproductive areas on these orchards.

If you are interested and wish call me I am happy to share my experience and insight into these developing rules to see how you may benefit from them.

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


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