The Rural Zone is the only place where rural productive activities can generally take place in the Waikato district. For this reason, ongoing subdivision in the rural zone must be carefully managed. This is to ensure that the effects of ad hoc development and rural residential development on rural character, amenity, landscape, reverse sensitivity and the fragmentation of productive rural land do not compromise the ability for rural activities to continue using the land, particularly where high class soils are located.
The new rules provide limited opportunities for subdivision of rural areas to ensure that primary production activities are afforded priority and are not compromised by subdivision or reverse sensitivity issues.
Our new rules in the Draft District Plan provide balanced opportunities for rural subdivision through the following options:
- General Subdivision
The outcome sought from the new subdivision provisions is for larger areas of rural land to be maintained for primary productive activities, particularly those areas which comprise high class soils.
- Subdivision of Maaori Freehold Land
Maaori Freehold Land is not generally subdivided, however if a full partition is considered by the owners it must be approved by the Māori Land Court and will require resource consent from Council.
- Conservation Lot Subdivisions
Provide an opportunity for landowners to create additional lots where a Significant Natural Area (SNA) exists which is not already legally protected. Up to two additional titles may be obtained using these provisions, depending on the size and quality of the feature.
- Boundary relocations
Rural landowners may need to relocate their internal boundaries or relocate their boundaries with neighbouring properties in order to improve the use of rural titles, including productive potential.
- Rural Hamlet Subdivision - Using multiple existing titles
Landowners who have multiple existing titles may be able to reconfigure these to form a ‘hamlet’, provided that the balance of the property is suitable to contain a range of productive rural activities.
- Country Living Lifestyle Subdivision
The minimum lot size for the Country Living Zone will remain at 5,000m2 to ensure an adequate supply of ‘lifestyle lots’. In some areas of the district the Village Zone will enable a minimum lot size of 3,000m2 where services are not available and 1,000m2 where services are available.