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Rural Subdivision in Auckland- what’s the new Practise Note?

Auckland Council releases from time to time, Practice and Guidance Notes (PGN’s). The PGN’s are developed by Auckland Council’s Principal Planners, who are part of the resource consent team.  They set out how the Council applies the Auckland Unitary Plan provisions, including rules and standards.  There are a now number of different PGN’s relating to a variety of Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) topics.

Last month, Auckland Council released its Rural Subdivision Practice and Guidance Note (PGN). You can access it here. The rural subdivision PGN covers all of the rural subdivision types and some common scenarios. This includes:

-          Subdivision based on protection of wetland or bush areas,

-          Subdivision based on revegetation planting,

-          Countryside Living Zone Subdivision,

-          Transferable Rural Site Subdivision (TRSS),

-          Boundary adjustment subdivision,

-          When esplanade reserves are required,

-          Servicing.

Hannah was one of three planning consultants asked to provide feedback on the draft rural subdivision PGN, and with over 20 years’ experience in rural development she was well placed to  do this. While we don’t necessarily agree with all the interpretations set out in the PGN, it is very useful for everyone to know how Council planners will be applying the rural subdivision provisions in the AUP. This assists in assessments, including identifying where there may be risk with a specific proposal. People can make more informed decisions on how to proceed, and what opportunities and constraints are present with their specific development.

The PGN is especially useful for some rules where there was some ambiguity due to how they were worded. The fact that the PGN is longer than the Rural Subdivision Unitary Plan chapter itself indicates the level of clarification that the Council thought was needed!

What now?

While the Rural Subdivision Practice and Guidance Note doesn’t replace or alter the Auckland Unitary Plan, it’s a useful guidance document and should be considered as part of subdivision design and development. Rural subdivision is very different to urban subdivision, and its important to get the planning context right from the start. Its also very important to work with a planner that has rural experience, so you know you’re getting reliable and accurate advice for your subdivision proposal.

Does the PGN affect your subdivision application?

Not necessarily- the impacts of the interpretations set out in the PGN on your resource consent application will vary between projects. Speak to your planner about your specific project.

Looking to subdivide rural land?

Our team have extensive experience working in rural environments, both processing resource consent applications for Councils for over 35 years, and lodging resource consent applications for private clients. We will clearly identify the planning risks and opportunities for your development and recommend other specialists with rural experience to assist.

To discuss your proposal, please contact us on or (09) 427 9966.


Please remember that the advice in this blog is general in nature and based on information and advice available at the time of writing. We recommend you get your own planning advice. As with all our blogs this information is preliminary in nature only and we have used our best endeavours to ensure it is correct at the time of writing. It is not intended to substitute for your own investigations or obtaining specific advice from professionals. Planning Plus LtdTM is not liable in any way for any errors or omissions.

© Planning Plus Ltd 2024


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