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Duplexes without resource consent?

Changes are coming to help with housing developments under the Resource Management Act.

The Resource Management Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters Amendment Bill (“Bill”) announced in October, introduces significant changes to the planning rules in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch.

As you may already be aware, the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (“NPS-UD”) brought changes from central government to local city and district plans. The NPS-UD provided for  residential development to take place with fewer planning restrictions.

This Bill will speed up the NPS-UD by at least one year and bring planning tools to our district which will allow for developments to be completed more quickly. The government expects the changes will ultimately assist with affordability and the supply of housing. The NPS-UD allows for 6 story buildings and fewer restrictions on parking in the CBD and greater intensification within residential zones.

The Bill will include the following changes:

  • Allowing homes that are up to three storeys to be built on most sites without the need of resource consent. See below for the minimum planning requirements.
  • Bringing the NPS-UD forward by at least one year.

As a general rule in Hamilton, resource consent is required to construct two duplexes on one site. As a permitted use, one house with two stories is allowed for one site. This will be a considerable change for the district. This type of housing is classed as “medium density”.

Minimum new requirements:

The government hopes that the new rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes being built in the next 5-8 years throughout New Zealand.[1]

It should be noted that this Bill came about with no consultation (which is unusual) and is somewhat out of kilter with the latest suggested legislative reform of the Natural and Built Environments Act. Adopting legalisation at speed does increase the risk that not all issues have been considered (such as stormwater or urban design).

These changes will need to be notified by Councils by August 2022.

How can you be involved? You can submit on the Bill at a central government level or submit on the plan change with your local council. Harkness Henry is able to assist with all types of submissions.

[1]Beehive: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/red-tape-cut-boost-housing-supply, 19 October 2021

This article is current as at the date of publication and is only intended to provide general comments about the law. Harkness Henry accepts no responsibility for reliance by any person or organisation on the content of the article. Please contact the author of the article if you require specific advice about how the law applies to you.

For further information

Charlotte Muggeridge - Harkness Henry Associate

Charlotte Muggeridge

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