Archive | Resource Consent

Construction Industry and Consents Rising

If you follow interest.co.nz you may have seen the news that construction industry revenue is on the rise, and consents are growing too.

At Cheap Titles I have noticed an increase in resource consent enquiries, so perhaps everyone is coming out of winter hibernation early and getting started on their building projects!

If you’d like to discuss your requirements for a resource consent, or need some help with council red tape, please get in touch for a chat.

Proposed Plan Change 160 – Introduction of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy and Other Changes

Proposed Plan Change 160: Introduction of Helensville Residential Heritage Policy and Other Changes seeks to change the provisions of the Auckland Council District Plan (Rodney Section) to better protect heritage values and resources in the older residential areas of Helensville.

The Plan Change implements a policy area (the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area) that overlies existing zones of the District Plan (the Residential M zone) so that there are additional rules that apply to these areas (in addition to the zone rules). The are affected by the Proposed Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area is attached and is shown on the picture below:

The extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

The extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

Legend for the Extent of the Helensville Residenital Heritage Policy Area

Legend for the Extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

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The Different Activity Types (Status) of Resource Consent Applications

District and Regional Plans state whether an activity (such as building a house or establishing a child care centre) is permitted, meaning that you do not need a resource consent, or whether it requires a resource consent.

If a resource consent is required it will be classified by the Plan as a type or status (if the Plan does not explicitly state the type or status of consent required it may default to being the most complex type of resource consent, being a non-complying activity – but you can confirm that with us).

It is important to note that more than one rule applies to any activity – so even if your activity is permitted or is a certain type of resource consent, this can be modified by other rules in the District or Regional Plan. For example, a childcare centre of no more than 50 children may be a permitted activity as specified by the relevant Plan however, resource consent may be required pursuant to another rule in the District Plan for a car parking area that exceeds the allowable maximum impermeable paved surface rule.

Every council plan (and district plan zones) is different, so a childcare centre of less than 50 children may not be permitted in another suburb/area/district/region.
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What are Existing Use Rights and Certificates of Compliance?

‘Exiting use rights’ is the resource management term given for activities or for physical building works (such as part of a house) that were (legally i.e. they were permitted activities and did not require resource consent) established under previous planning rules.

Existing use rights are different from having an activity that resource consent or planning permission was sought.

Existing use rights can be lost if the character, intensity and scale of these rights are modified or if the activity was discontinued for more than 12 months. For example, a childcare centre accommodating 25 children may have been legally established many years ago, but if this childcare centre were to increase in size so say 100 children, this would not have the same character, intensity or scale as when it was originally established.

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How to Prepare a Locality Plan (aerial photograph) for a Resource Consent Application for Auckland Council

Just the other day I got an email asking about the locality plan (or aerial photograph) that is required by Auckland Council when lodging a resource consent application. I thought I would share my way of providing this locality plan as it may save you some time and money.

The requirement for a locality plan/aerial photograph is mentioned on page 3 of the Auckland Council Resource Consent Application Form (see the screenshot below), along with the requirement for a recent Certificate of Title (less than 3 months old) and any relevant consent notice, covenant or easement. Certificates of Title can be ordered here and any relevant consent notice, covenant or easement can be ordered here.

A Locality Plan is to be Submitted with Every Resource Consent Application for Auckland Council

A Locality Plan is to be Submitted with Every Resource Consent Application for Auckland Council

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What information do I need to be able to order a Certificate of Title from Cheap Titles?

There are different types of information that you can provide in the “Enter Property Address…” field when ordering a Certificate of Title from Cheap Titles. These are explained as follows:

The Street Address

When providing a street address to order a Certificate of Title it is important to provide sufficient information to identify the particular property from any other property in New Zealand. For example, there are many Queen Streets in New Zealand so if you are after Queen Street in Auckland – it will safe time, and will ensure that you get the correct Certificate of Title by including suburb and city information in your request ie 1 Queen Street, CBD, Auckland.

The Legal Description

When providing a legal description to order a Certificate of Title it is important to provide as much of the description as possible to ensure that the correct Certificate of Title is identified and obtained for you. The location of the legal description on a Certificate of Title is shown on the image below:

The location of the Legal Description on a Certificate of Title

The location of the Legal Description on a Certificate of Title

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Some Key Elements that can be on a Certificate of Title

A recent Certificate of Title (usually a title that has been issued within 3 months) is required to accompany every application for resource and building consent. It is useful to know what sort of information can be contained within a Certificate of Title because some councils require that documents relating to this additional information be provided when lodging a resource or building consent. Generally if this additional information is not provided, the council may consider that your application is ‘incomplete’ and will return it to you. This delays the processing of your consent until you can provide the missing information and return the whole application back to council.

Some information that can be contained on a Certificate of Title is as follows:

Limited to Parcels

This is common on older Certificates of Title (such as on land subdivided in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s) which may not have surveyed properly. If your title has the words ‘Limited to Parcels’ on it (if applicable this wording will be located below the main heading at the top of the page) and your application involves building works in close proximity to a property boundary you will most likely also need to submit with your resource consent application, a letter or certificate from a qualified surveyor that confirms that the proposed building works will not create any non-compliances with the District Plan (i.e. the letter or certificate will state that if the property were to be surveyed accurately the proposed works would not create any non-compliances with the District Plan rules by being located too close to a boundary).

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Auckland Council – Please Consider the Environment Before Requesting Four Copies of an Application!

Today is the first day of the new Auckland Council and the first day of summer and I didn’t really want to have a gripe with either but I do. Firstly, what happened to the fantastic weather that was Labour Weekend? I arrived back in the country from being over in London and Spain just before the weekend and was pleasantly pleased to be back with such stunning weather but what has happened to this? Fingers crossed the good warm weather returns quickly.

However, my real gripe/frustration and the reason for this article is directed at the requirements for any resource consent application lodged with the new Auckland Council. I have already identified that there are some changes that affect resource consent applications and one of these changes is that there are new application forms to be filled in to accompany a resource consent application lodged with Auckland Council. The first annoying aspect of this is that there are now two forms to be filled in – but personally – and I don’t know why – I actually delight in filling in forms so this is not a major problem. But the most annoying aspect is that four copies of each piece of information is now required. Four copies!!!! In this digital age it seems bizarre to me that this many paper copies are required. Especially as most of the information for an application (for example, the architectural plans, the certificate of title, any expert reports such as infrastructure/servicing, traffic, arboricultural, noise, etc.) are all provided in an electronic format that could be simply forwarded to council and forwarded to the relevant processing officers to eliminate the need to print at council.

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The new Auckland Council is live today!

Hurray, it’s the first day of summer today and today also marks the first day of the new Auckland Council. The change in local government structure in Auckland promises lots of change although, with respect to building and resource consents, it is pretty much business as usual with the exception of a few noticeable changes detailed below:

Extract from the Auckland Council Website

Extract from the Auckland Council Website

  • New application forms for building and resource consents – if you are lodging either of these you will need to go here for resource consent application forms and here for building consent application forms;
  • New application fees for building and resource consents. To find out the likely deposit fees and hourly rates for council staff processing your consent go here;
  • New contact information, including a new main reception/contact number of 09 301 0101;
  • New ward boundaries and councillors and a new mayor this also means that there may be changes in internal council processes i.e. who has delegated authority to approve and/or decline consent applications;

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Resource Consents for Minor Dwellings in the Auckland City District Plan

The Auckland region is growing at such a fast rate that it is estimated in approximately twenty years the region will have to accommodate an increase in population equal to the size of Wellington within its boundaries. Regional policies and strategies seek to accommodate this growth mostly within existing urban areas, with only a small portion of this growth to be accommodated within Greenfield developments. Within the existing urban areas, growth is to be concentrated in intensified areas. However, these policies and strategies neglect to consider the role that traditional suburban areas could play in accommodating growth. Growth in such areas could be accommodated by obtaining resource consent for minor dwellings/units commonly known as ‘granny flats’.

The Auckland City: Growth Management Strategy (December 2003) seeks to fulfil the objectives of the regions Growth Management Strategy and Regional Policy Statement by providing for growth within high density centres and corridors such as Newmarket, Remuera, Ellerslie, Mt Albert, Panmure, Mt Wellington Quarry, Onehunga, Pt Chevalier and Sylvia Park. These areas are known as the ‘areas of change’.
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