Surveying Services - The Degree of Difference

Waipa submissions closed - but still time to subdivide

Published August 2012

Subdivision under the existing rules will continue in Waipa until the proposed rules are beyond contention.

Following the notification of their new District Plan, submissions closed on 27th of last month. Council now need to process the many submissions and prepare for public hearings to consider the various points of view put forward by both professionals and the general public.

Many submissions will have been made against the proposed new minimum rural subdivision area of 40ha - up from the current level of 25ha. I see this as being a big hurdle for land use diversification, having the potential to add tens of thousands to the cost of resource consent applications. Approval will become less certain also if they become discretionary or non-complying under proposed rules.

People will still want smaller properties to carry out agricultural and horticultural activities that are not just 'dairy farming'. The proposed rules are just focussed squarely on dairy. The proposed minimum will make it harder for those starting out as well, particularly if they need to invest in development of the property.

Those who were planning on subdividing off a small block under the 'long association' rules may be out of luck now unless they get in quick while submissions to the new rules are being dealt with. There is no provision for these in the proposed rules so, if you have owned your property for fourteen years or more, you should consider this now. Likewise, there is no provision for subdividing off a surplus house from your farm under the proposed rules so this will have to be dealt with quickly now.

All of these rules will have submissions against them, which means that the public have a chance to influence Council before they make their final decision. Even though you may like to think you can persuade them, I believe that it is extremely unlikely given the resources that Council can put to supporting their proposal. l advise anyone with any subdivision plans to act now while you still have the opportunity under the existing rules and avoid disappointment.

Whilst proposed rules have unresolved submissions against them they have very little, if any, weight at all. An exception to this is rules that protect air, soil, water, flora and fauna; or relate to historic features or aquaculture. These rules have immediate effect now that they have been publicly notified.

Over the next several months you can still make an application for subdivision under the existing rules. So, now is the time to sort out any plans that you have for subdivision. If you have any such plans I am happy to discuss the situation so don't hesitate to give me a call.

By Brent Trail Managing Director

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 07 838 1571 or email

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