Our aim is to deliver top quality design-led solutions. Our senior planning and graphic design team is highly skilled and focused on achieving best practice outcomes for our clients in resource management and planning processes, whatever the scale and nature of the project.
We believe that good planning should always primarily be focused on creating places that allow people to live the way they want to, while at the same time remembering to respect and enhance the environment, and protect valuable resources for future generations.
Land Use consents
Land use consent is required for works that are considered to potentially affect the environment, such as new activities, buildings and alterations, earthworks, vegetation removal, and a change in activity on a property (such as from residential to commercial).
Minor dwellings are generally small sized homes on the same property as an existing home. They are ‘self-contained’ as they include bathroom and kitchen (or food preparation) facilities, as well as space for sleeping. Minor dwellings can be extra space used by the occupants of the main house (eg if working from home), or can be occupied by extended family or tenants. When they provide a rental income, minor dwellings can be a prudent way to develop a property without the cost of buying additional land.
Overall, they fill an important social role, providing homes for family and others, and often security and social support for the primary dwelling resident.
Other planning terms used for minor dwellings include minor unit and minor household unit. Buildings such as sleep-outs and worker accommodation are not ‘minor dwellings’, and are covered by separate planning provisions. Likewise mobile ‘tiny houses’ are also addressed separately.
Minor dwellings are expected to met certain ‘standards’ depending on what zone the property is in. They are either permitted activities or require resource consent. Within Auckland, factors include maximum floor size (being 65m 2 excluding decks and garages), access, number of dwellings per site etc as well as the general building controls (eg building height and site impervious surfaces). In some zones there are additional standards – for example in the Rural zones, sites must be over 1ha in area before a minor dwelling can be proposed (for reasons that are rather unclear given their role). Other Councils have similar provisions but many vary slightly in terms of the specified standards and activity status.
Development control infringements
New buildings are usually subject to a range of development controls or standards, which limit the bulk and location of new developments to ensure amenity on-site and for adjoining properties. Development controls include:
We can provide advice during the initial design stages to ensure a complying building, or prepare a consent application to obtain resource consent for any infringements.
We can assist with a variety of rural and urban subdivision consents, including:
Regional consents (e.g. earthworks, water takes or diversion)
Regional consents are required for works that may affect a natural resource or the environment.
Regional consents can include:
We can provide advice during the initial development of projects on possible consenting requirements, briefing specialists, project management and ongoing discussions with a project team and preparing a consent application to obtain resource consent for any infringements.
Industrial or Trade Activity Consent
Industrial or Trade Activity’ (ITA) consent may be required for sites that undertake activities usually involving the storage, use and/or production of ‘environmentally hazardous substances’. The purpose of an ITA consent is two-fold: to ensure the land can appropriately be used an a ITA site, and to manage possible discharges to land or water. ITA sites will either require a consent or will need to comply with permitted activity standards, and commonly need to have an ‘Environmental Management Plan’ (or similar) that addresses land or water pollution risks. If you would like assistance with what Council’s ITA provisions mean for your site, click here.
Global consents cover works that are repeated over time and/or done at multiple locations; instead of getting a separate consent each time works are done, a single global consent is obtained. Global consents streamline the planning process and provide both predictability and flexibility for the consent holder. Global consents are also sometimes referred to as blanket, umbrella, collective or group consents.
The types of works that are most likely to benefit from a global consent include:
Global consents rely on supporting information on how works will be done. This can range from a simple list of environmental ‘controls’, through to tailored works methodologies, depending on the complexity of the works. Works undertaken as a ‘permitted activity’ can also benefit from a global approach, as the controls or methodologies set out how relevant ‘permitted activity’ standards will be met.
We can assist with global consenting for any works - to contact one of our team for more information, click here.
Heritage New Zealand consents & archaeological authority to modify for work to or around buildings /items that are on the New Zealand Heritage List.
An authority to modify is required from Heritage New Zealand to alter, modify or destroy any part of an archaeological site (an archaeological site is defined in the Heritage New Zealand Act 2014 as any place in NZ that was associated with pre 1900 human activity where there is evidence that can be investigated using archaeological methods). We can assist with briefing specialists, consultation and discussion with Heritage New Zealand and project management of consents.
Consents within Overlays (e.g. special character, historic heritage, outstanding natural landscapes and features & Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area)
Land use consent is required for some types of development on sites subject to Overlays under the relevant statutory plan e.g construction of new buildings/additions to existing buildings, earthworks and vegetation clearance.
Consents within overlays include:
We can assist with identification of the overlay and advise of impact on possible developments, initial discussions with Council at a pre-application meeting, briefing of experts and preparing an application to obtain resource consent for infringements.
Project management and liaison with specialists
Depending on the scale and complexity of a consent application, a number of specialist assessments may be useful to support the application, such as architects, surveyors, civil and geotech engineers, acoustic engineers, ecologists, contaminated site assessors, and archaeologists. We can assist with briefing specialists, obtaining estimates, and project management of the consent team.