TCDC notifies District Plan
Published December 2013
On December 13 Council will notify its new Proposed District Plan.
My last update on the Thames-Coromandel District plan was at the beginning of the year and I said that shortly Council would announce their Proposed District Plan. Well, it's been a year, and that's not uncommon with such a process. If they have used the time wisely and taken into account the feedback from the public and professionals that have to work under this plan - then it is time well spent.
As reported earlier this 'new plan' is driven by the Coromandel Blueprint which sets out the areas for future growth and limits ribbon development along the coast. An earlier ideal of reducing 'red tape' by allowing many more activities to be 'permitted' rather than 'controlled' meaning that less consents will be required overall is admirable but may well be challenged, I feel. On the other hand, it appears that Council may be following a trend seen elsewhere by moving most subdivision consents to the discretionary status from controlled. This means that there are more hoops you have to jump through to get consent and it puts more of the cost up front. In my opinion this puts a major brake on economic development because people need more certainty at the outset.
It is extremely important to make submissions to the proposed District Plan, even if you agree with it! Complacency by many could either see proposed new rules gain traction or alternatively those that participate could influence Council or the Environment Court to change the rules.
Therefore, you must participate in this public process because once the rules are finalised there is really no way back. Councils are reluctant to grant dispensations to individuals once the rules are passed.
All proposed district and regional plans are publicly notified, calling for submissions within tight time frames. If you want to protect the potential and capital value of your land you must participate in this process. If you don't, the process will be driven by regional councils and national authorities such as the New Zealand Transport Agency who have their own ideals - sadly they don't always relate to your livelihood.
You might not be able to get what you want, but you do have a chance at moderating the changes and getting your development under way before the changes have too much clout.
My advice to landowners is simple. Firstly, obtain a resource consent that secures your rights under the existing rules without having to take further action for five years. Secondly, lodge a submission for or against the rule changes advising councillors of your suggestions and reasons for change. This may even give you an opportunity to negotiate a settlement that achieves your goal.
In my experience now is a good time to sort out any subdivision plans that you may have. If you have any plans for subdivision in the future I am happy to discuss the opportunities, 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, Hauraki and Bay of Plenty.
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