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Small scale developments in the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone

Updated: Feb 14

The Auckland Unitary Plan upzoned a lot of land in established residential areas, meaning that more houses could be built on individual sites than before. The best yield in most cases, and often the better development outcome, is from removing the existing house and other buildings, and redeveloping the whole site. But what if you have a newish house on the site already, and don’t want to redevelop the whole site? We often receive enquiries from people who are looking to add one or two more dwellings to a site, and this is commonly in the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone; this blog will focus on the Mixed Housing Suburban zone.

What is the Mixed Housing Suburban zone?

This is the most widespread zone in the Auckland Unitary Plan and includes many established residential areas as well as some greenfields sites. The zone enables intensification, while retaining the suburban built character. Development is generally expected to be two storey detached and attached dwellings. You can find out more about zoning, from this blog.

How many houses can I have?

In the Mixed Housing Suburban zone, you can develop up to three houses on one site as a permitted activity (meaning resource consent isn’t required. You may however trigger resource consent under other Unitary Plan rules, which we will discuss below). Four or more dwellings would require resource consent, where Council officers will be largely looking at the bulk and location of the buildings, site and building design, traffic, parking and access. You should seek the assistance of a Planner for planning advice and assistance with your resource consent application.

Standards in the Mixed Housing Suburban zone

There are a variety of Standards that are directly applicable to development in the Mixed Housing Suburban zone. This includes:

  • Maximum height,

  • Height in Relation to Boundary controls,

  • Building Coverage,

  • Impermeable Area,

  • Outlook Space,

  • Daylight,

  • Outdoor Living Space,

  • Yards,

  • Minimum Dwelling size.

You can find these Standards here (page 7 onwards); the Standards that you must comply with vary depending on if your development is permitted or not (as set out on page 3).

What other rules do I need to be aware of?

There are a number of other rules and Standards in the Auckland Unitary Plan that you need to meet, to be a permitted activity. This includes (but is not limited to) those related to:

Where we have a blog we think may be of interest to the above issues, we have included a link to it in the above list; they are not an exhaustive list though of everything you need to consider.

Your development may end up infringing one or more of these, triggering the need for resource consent. We suggest you discuss these with your Planner, and discuss risk, costs and any potential for redesign.

What other potential issues are there?

At feasibility stage, you need to also be aware of contributions that may be applicable such as Council development contributions, Watercare Services Infrastructure Growth Charges and connection fees for services. These are not small amounts and need to be factored into your budgets.

Also check your Record of Title- there may be other restrictions in land covenants, easements and consent notices that you need to comply with. You can find out more in this blog.

Need more advice?

If you have a development in mind and think you need a resource consent, or need more detailed feasibility advice, get in contact. You can contact our resource consent specialists on or 09 427 9966.


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.

© Planning Plus Ltd 2023

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