Subdivision Adds Value
Published December 2011
Subdivision can add value in more ways than one but if you live in a rural area those opportunities are likely being taken away as you read this.
Obviously if you live in a desirable location others will also be drawn to it. Therefore by adding another house site through subdivision you can often enhance the value of your property by two or three hundred thousand and give somebody else the chance to enjoy the same rural ambience that you do.
In some districts such as Hauraki and Waikato many properties still qualify to create these additional blocks but the tide is rapidly turning and Councils are moving to stop these opportunities being taken up. It has arguably been too easy, so expect to see much of this 'as of right' subdivision disappear in the coming months.
A growing trend, which is seen as giving the landowners opportunity whilst enhancing the environment; is the protection of bush, streams and wetlands in conjunction with subdivision. This is seen as a win-win and works well where the local authority recognises a fair value for the environmental feature. We see this working very well in parts of the old Franklin District (now parts in Waikato, Auckland and Hauraki) for small wetland and bush areas and in Western Bay for wetland and stream bank protection. Areas as small as half a hectare of wetland and 250m of stream protected on both banks will produce an additional lot.
In a variation to this, the environmental feature can actually be protected on another lot, owned by someone else. Many other Councils, including Waikato, Waipa, Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel, Matamata-Piako, South Waikato, Whakatane, and Opotiki Districts currently have similar rules but the size of feature required to be protected varies considerably making the benefits marginal in some cases.
If you think those rules are complex - there are more! Some District Councils now allow you to transfer titles across their District onto other sites. That, I will have to cover next month.
At a time when the enabling rules are fast disappearing and we may be having to justify equity to the bank it can be a good idea to merely secure your subdivision rights by obtaining a Resource Consent. Once you have the consent it doesn't matter if Council changes the rules on you. You have a total of up to eight years to complete the subdivision and your initial investment is relatively low.
There is little time left to apply for subdivision under the current rules in many areas so, if you are interested to find out how the changes may affect you, please feel free 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.
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