Zoning appeal to impact on development

Thursday 29 September 2016

Residential development in Auckland is likely to suffer now that only part of the city’s Unitary Plan will become operative for the foreseeable future.

By The Landlord

The Auckland Council’s Governing Body is set to make the Auckland Unitary Plan operative only in part today.

This follows council staff’s assessment of the 106 appeals against the Unitary Plan that have been lodged with the Environment Court and High Court.

Auckland Council director regulatory services Penny Pirrit said that most of the appeals relate only to specific sites or provisions in the plan.

This means that large parts of the Regional Policy Statement, Coastal Plan and some parts of the District Plan can be made operative.

However, a joint appeal lodged by Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition is broad in scope and has the potential to impact on residential development across the Super City.

Pirrit said that, because the appeal challenges certain zoning decisions, the zoning maps cannot become operative until that appeal is resolved.

In turn, this means that applications for resource consent to develop a property will need to be assessed against the relevant operative legacy planning zones and rules.

“Until all appeals are resolved, the council is required to assess all resource consent applications against parts of both the old and new plans.

“Decisions will need to be made on a case by case basis as to how much weight can be given to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan versus the operative legacy district and regional plans.”

Pirrit said that, in practical terms, this would add greater complexity and a degree of uncertainty for applicants while the appeal process is ongoing.

“The process and timeframe for resolving the appeals is a matter for the courts, but the council will be working with all parties to ensure that they are resolved as quickly as possible.”

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