New year challenges for subdivision
So, you’re planning a subdivision or boundary adjustment on the farm this year – then check the rules soon. Many District Councils have announced changes to their District Plans recently. Thames-Coromandel, the most recent, was notified just last month and is open for submissions until 14 March 2014. I always advise residents to check these proposals and either submit in favour or against. This enables you to be part of the process and sometimes even rescues your plans. If you are not involved you can't complain later.
Waipa District is due to announce their decisions soon, having deliberated for much of last year over public submissions. With this, we suspect that lifestyle blocks created by virtue of occupying the block for over 15 years will disappear, along with the 25ha minimum rural size, in favour of the much larger 40ha size.
Waikato District Council is due to resolve their Environment Court challenge and a decision is imminent. If the Regional Council are successful in their appeal that will mean that only the 'older' tiles over 40ha will be able to subdivide rural lifestyle blocks. Any compromise would perhaps lower the qualifying size.
Matamata-Piako have resolved their challenges to the Environment Court by agreeing to allow subdivision of certain rural blocks over 28ha in size. Lifestyle blocks are still allowed on some 'older' titles over 40ha in size as well as on the lower quality land.
Hauraki District Council are still fighting challenges in the Environment Court in an effort to uphold their proposal for a 40ha minimum rural lot size on the plains. An attempt to mediate that issue will be undertaken in the new year by the Environment Court. Lifestyle lots are encouraged on the foothill adjacent to the plains in an effort to 'protect' the higher quality flat land.
In the Western Bay the focus is on transferring titles from the rural areas to rural residential areas closer to town with rural subdivision generally being allowed only when protecting environmental features such as streams, wetlands and bush. These rules also exist in some form elsewhere, however in this District you can still subdivide 6ha horticultural blocks which is uncommon elsewhere.
If you have considered subdivision and are keen to get moving, I would suggest that you check the local rules first. I am happy to discuss the opportunities for now and the future, so don't hesitate to give me a call.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org