Waikato delays new subdivision rules - Thousands of properties affected by significant features
Waikato District Council has now delayed the notification of their new District Plan so that thousands of landowners can be ‘consulted’ in relation to significant future classifications on their properties. If you are in the Waikato District, including the old Franklin part, you may have received a letter recently. If you have been too busy and cast it aside, you might like to retrieve it as the changes could be most significant. This was the consultation.
Council followed this with a meeting at four localities around the district in late May where you could ‘have a discussion’. Whether you attended this or not, the classification will likely go onto your property and if there is any mistake, or you don’t agree with it, your only recourse will be to join the submission process which is set down to begin after notification of the Plan in July. You are unlikely to remove it unless it is just a mistake.
Over 5000 properties are affected by these classifications so there is a good chance that one is on your land or nearby. These significant features include native ecological areas (likely to be some exotic planting mistakenly included), Maori cultural sites, landscape features, significant trees and historical buildings.
I encourage every landowner to have a look at the Proposed District Plan immediately it is notified, or before if you have notification, and check out any restrictions proposed for your property.
If you are wanting to subdivide, the news is not that bad in relation to these significant areas, particularly with native bush or wetland. If a feature on your property is identified as significant, it could provide an opportunity. There could be a chance to subdivide if you have over two hectares in native bush or wetland and Councils sometimes provide subdivision opportunities in recognition of preserving a feature of importance to the community.
‘Ex-Franklin’ owners could be the big winners in terms of rural subdivision, having had little opportunity for years. The existing Waikato lifestyle lot rule looks like being adopted across the District initially; however, I have little faith that it will remain long, because last time around the Regional Council were pushing for a larger parent lot to qualify – and they have some clout!
The Rule currently allows for one lifestyle lot of between 8000 square metres and 1.6 hectares to be cut off a title over 20 hectares in size that was created prior to December 1997. However, don’t relax and do nothing if you currently comply with this – I fully expect that this will eventually refer to titles over 40 hectares in size.
If you have an ecological feature over 10ha to protect, it could currently be worth three lots in the old Waikato area, but only if you talk to us real soon.
If you have any interest in subdividing, now is the time to move with the proposed rules advancing fast now. Feel free to give me a call and discuss your situation or question me in relation to any subdivision matter.
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