Subdivision rules to get tougher
Published January 2015
The TCDC plan to reduce red tape will not apply to subdivision.
The Thames-Coromandel District Plan is currently under review and committee decisions are due out in the later part of this year, once all submitters have been heard.
One of Councils objectives with the New Plan - to reduce red tape by allowing many more activities to be 'permitted' rather than 'controlled' - will clearly not apply for subdivisions. Following the huge number of submissions, I would be surprised if this can be achieved anywhere in the plan.
In so far as subdivision is concerned, we see Council setting up the new rules so that they have more discretion throughout the process. Many of the rules that were once classified as controlled are being cranked up to restricted discretionary or full discretionary. In general, the more 'discretionary' the rule, the more 'control' Council can exercise in vetting your application.
So this is not a good thing at all for applicants. You can expect higher costs with more detailed specialist reports being requested in most cases. There will be more hoops that 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, prior to major investment.
Given the large number of submissions and the widespread nature of them we are currently still able to lodge applications according to the old rules in most areas. This will change once decisions are announced, unless those decisions are appealed to the Environment Court.
My advice to landowners is simple. Firstly, obtain a resource consent that secures your rights under the existing rules without the need to take further action for five years. Then if the new rules are by chance more allowing you could seek a variation to the consent to take into account further opportunities.
In my experience, with a new Plan pending, it is a good time to sort out any subdivision plans that you may have……. it will never get easier. 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, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.
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