As expected, Waikato Regional Council have made a submission to the Waikato District Plan requesting that lifestyle blocks can only be subdivided from titles that exceed 40 hectares in size. This, in addition to the title needing to predate 6 Dec 1997 in most cases. This was always going to happen, as Regional Council had appealed the District Council’s decision on the last plan change and clearly weren’t going to give up.
Council advised that further submissions in support or opposition to the original submissions were to be received by May 27. However, it seems that there has been mistakes in processing some of these - nearly 1000 submissions with close to 10,000 submission points - and they are now to advertise a new closing date, once these issues have been corrected. This is your last chance to be heard on the proposed new subdivision rules that are being written to accommodate the merging of part of Franklin District with the Waikato so act now.
Once the rules are ratified through the public submission process, Franklin owners could have the same opportunity as their peers situated within the original Waikato District area, but only if they have not subdivided within about the last 22 years. However, with the minimum size being challenged by the Regional Council, it is more than likely that they will miss the opportunity to subdivide a lifestyle block off a 20ha block as has been possible in the ‘old Waikato’ for many years.
Under the general subdivision rule proposed, a lifestyle lot of about a hectare can be cut off many older large titles. If you are located in the old Waikato area you will still be eligible to apply to subdivide a property over 20ha in size, but you would need to act very soon. Should the Regional Council’s proposal be adopted, which is highly likely, your title size will need to be 40ha to be eligible.
With rural subdivision becoming harder and harder, much of the future subdivision will come from the protection of ecological features such as wetland, stream margins and native bush. So, if you have these features on your land you may qualify for subdivision.
Boundary adjustments between neighbours, and adjustments in size and location of multiple adjoining titles, can be applied for along with subdivisions that protect qualifying ecological features.
A major driver for these rule changes is the protection of quality production land, which is undoubtably a great goal. However, there is a genuine desire in this country for a rural address away from the pressures of urban life, and there are pockets of land around that are far inferior to the horticultural land surrounding Pukekohe that we see being steadily lost.
Don’t sit back if you believe that you have an opportunity to restructure your titles or create an additional title for yourself, family or indeed for sale. If you are interested to find out what opportunities might potentially be lost or gained through this process, feel free to give me a call and discuss your situation without delay.
Brent Trail Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. For further information call 0800 268632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org