Surveying Services Ltd
It has now been eighteen months since Hauraki District Council publically notified their Proposed District Plan and we are still largely working under the old rules.
This is good news for those wanting to subdivide or carry out any development conceived prior to this notification, or when they purchased.
Only rules that protect air, soil, water, flora and fauna; or relate to historic features or aquaculture come into play immediately under current resource management legislation. Other rules need to go through the full public consultation process, potentially including an appeal to the Environment Court, before they can be fully implemented.
Currently many landowners are allowed to subdivide off a small lifestyle block from their farm and most, with the better land, can even subdivide the farm into six hectare blocks if they wish.
This opportunity may only last a few months now and unfortunately many won’t realise until it is too late. Council are also proposing to increase the minimum size for town sections to 550 square metres from the current 350 square metre minimum. People who aren't aware of the rules changing are often disappointed when they actually need to subdivide in the future and find that they can’t, due to changed rules.
The rules announced are far reaching for landowners in the area but fortunately there is still time to salvage the situation if you take action right away.
Council has completed the hearing process and is now under pressure to announce its decision on all new rules before September this year – two years after the date of public notification. The new rules propose to limit future rural subdivisions to a minimum 40ha block which will take away many options currently available to farmers in the Hauraki District.
Whether you want to subdivide a smaller block for retirement, obtain a separate title to the family home before entering an equity partnership or even subdivide the farm into several lifestyle blocks, you should look at your options before the new rules are set in concrete.
Other districts including Matamata-Piako, Waipa and Thames-Coromandel are all reviewing rules following Western Bay of Plenty earlier and the outlook is not looking good for rural subdivision. If you are interested in finding out how the changes may affect you, feel free to give me a call.