As you may know, the unified Auckland Council is undergoing a process of introducing a new planning document, which will guide the growth of the Auckland region over the next 30 years. The plan will regulate all of the activities which are currently controlled by district, regional and coastal plans. Since the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan was public notified in September 2013, Council has received nearly 14,000 submissions. Currently the submissions are being heard by the appointed independent hearings panel.
The unitary plan is only partially operative but it is still important for you to know about. For example, the new zones are not currently operative, but the plan contains a new set of objectives, policies and rules that relate to the use and development of land. This gives some guidance as to the general direction that Council is taking. As a property owner/investor, you should refer to the proposed zone provisions to understand the likely requirements for a particular activity and use it as a guide before making any decisions.
We have been getting a lot of questions from our clients wanting to know whether their property could be affected by the proposed changes under the Auckland Unitary Plan. It is a common assumption that all land will be easier to develop/subdivide under the Unitary Plan. However, it is important to note that some areas will require larger lot sizes, which will therefore become harder to develop/subdivide once the Unitary Plan becomes fully operative. If your property is in one those areas or you want to find out whether it is or not, the best ways for you to do this is to contact council to talk to the duty planner, or/and to contact us, and one of our friendly staff will assist you with your queries.