How to profit from the new plan

Monday 6 August 2018

The Super City’s new Unitary Plan provides interesting reading for Auckland property owners. Could you be an “accidental investor”? Hamish Firth from Mt Hobson Group tells all.

The Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) is Auckland’s new district plan. It is the “‘bible”’ for land use and development over the entire Auckland region.

It sets out what can go where, how high things can be built, how the frontage needs to look, amongst other things.

When Auckland was amalgamated as the Super City, it presented the need for a “‘super district plan”’, thus the birth of the AUP.

If you have a property in North Shore in a certain zone, the rules are the same for a property also in this zone in Pukekohe. There is now consistency across the board.

Of course we are still seeing differences in the way officers interpret the rules, but we now only have one manager to whom we complain to.

The AUP is unlike any district plan in New Zealand.

Unlike many cities and towns throughout New Zealand which still pound the “‘one house per certain square metre”’ drum, the AUP has done away with restricting density.

In terms of use and development the zones in the Auckland Unitary Plan have more or less been split into residential, rural and business zones.

Single House, Mixed Housing Suburban, Mixed Housing Urban and Terraced Housing and Apartments (THAB); these are the new main residential zones under the AUP.

As they suggest, the single house zone permits one house per 600m 2 site but you can now also have a minor housing unit.

Whereas, a THAB zoned property could have a 16m high apartment building on it.

A site in the mixed housing suburban and urban zone can now have three units as a permitted activity (that is: no need for resource consent for density)!

And subject to resource consent, you could add more units by meeting bulk, location and urban design controls.

What is most exciting for property investors about all these “‘up-zones”’ is that previously lots of properties within these zones were restricted by density and height.

So there are lots of opportunities for change!

To read more of Hamish Firth's article about the AUP and the opportunities it can offer investors, click here to get the digital issue of NZ Property Investor magazine.

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