In recent years we saw significant lifestyle subdivision around the cities of Hamilton and Cambridge. The opportunities are now further south and east of Hamilton in areas such as South Waikato District and Matamata Piako District.
Because of their location further from the cities, these areas have been less in demand and therefore there are untapped opportunities for lifestylers. The somewhat more relaxed planning rules flow into other areas such as Otorohanga and Waitomo Districts, where investment and growth are encouraged by the local authorities.
In Matamata Piako farmers have the ability to apply to cut off a one or two-hectare 'lifestyle' block from the farm, depending on the quality of their land and the title date. 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. In addition to this, each title that existed on 4 December 2013 will qualify for an application to subdivide off one block of 8-hectares or more, provided a balance lot can be left at least 20 hectares in size. This provides farmers with an opportunity to sever a small rural lot from their farm, providing an opportunity for diversification or family settlement.
South of Matamata, the South Waikato District Council allows lifestyle blocks as small as a quarter of a hectare (2500 square metres) to be cut off many rural properties. The subdivision rules here allow one new section to be subdivided from a property only marginally larger than 4 hectares in size, with farms over 30 hectares having a possibility to subdivide into three lots.
To the south and west of South Waikato, Otorohanga and Waitomo districts are seeing increased development take place. More remote from the pressure of the cities, these districts have a more pragmatic approach to subdivision and development with even more flexible rules in place for rural subdivisions. These regions are quietly growing as businesses look for more attractive accessible regions to develop.
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 contemplating any subdivision and want to make the most of your land, call a specialist subdivision company for advice that you can count on. Feel free give us a call to discuss your situation and the full potential of your land.