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New Year, New Development?

If you’re anything like us, the new year is a time for reflection and goal setting, identifying new things you want to do, try or complete. This could include development of your property, or maybe buying and development a new property. Or possibly you need to legalise something on your property. In this blog we have a brief look at options, but we have a number of other blogs on our website that will be of use to you.

How can I develop my site?

Development can take a number of shapes, forms and densities. It could include:

  • additions or alterations to an existing building,

  • a new building,

  • a second, third or fourth dwelling,

  • a minor dwelling,

  • a new business,

  • subdivision.

It could be something as minor as removing trees or doing earthworks.

Some of these options may require resource consent, and some wont. Additions or alterations to a building often won’t require resource consent unless you infringe Standards such as yard setbacks. If you can, try to design your development to meet these Standards as removing the need for a resource consent can be a considerable cost saving.

Multiple dwellings might not require resource consent either, depending on the zoning. We have blogs on our website about how to find out the zoning of your site, and other preliminary issues. You can also contact your local Council and get free preliminary advice; we do however suggest that you use this as a very preliminary advice only as often this is a very “high level” information and is the result of a few minutes of looking at information about your site. Sometimes the people giving the advice are not planners either, so it pays to do more detailed planning investigations before you proceed too much further.

Can I retrospectively legalise something?

In resource consent terms, the easy answer is yes you can, and this is called a retrospective resource consent. The longer answer is while you can apply for a retrospective resource consent, it may not be approved. This is because the work you’ve done still needs to be assessed against the relevant plans (rules, objectives, policies) that are in force; the fact that it’s there doesn’t mean that the Council will give approval. Your development still needs to have acceptable effects on the environment and be consistent with what the Council plans are trying to achieve. We’d suggest you get planning advice at the outset to discuss the likelihood of approval; it may be better for you to remove the work you’ve done rather than try to get resource consent (i.e. the risks are high).

Need more information?

At Planning Plus, we have more than 40 years combined resource consent experience. We’re your resource consent specialists and our aim is to take the stress out of the consent process for you. If you have a development in mind or would like to talk through options for your property give us a call!

Disclaimer As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.

Hannah Thomson is Director of Planning Plus and has over 17 years of resource management experience working in both local government and the private sector. Hannah has a wide range of experience including commercial, rural, residential and coastal development and subdivision on small to large scales and appearances at both Council and Environment Court as an expert witness for mediation and hearings. Hannah has assisted Councils with policy development and has also assisted private individuals with submissions to Council.

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