Upcoming Plan Changes
By Iain McManus
Auckland Council’s Planning Committee has approved further work on a number of changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan.
Plan Changes Under Preparation
The Council currently has four plan changes under preparation:
1. An “administrative” plan change, to correct errors and update land recently vested as open space, roads and other types of reserve (e.g. utility reserve). We have prepared a separate blog on the errors correction process. This plan change is expected to be notified in August 2017.
2. A Notable Tree Schedule Corrections plan change. This plan change has evolved out of Council’s review of errors in the plan, which identified a significant number of errors in the Notable Tree Schedule. This plan change is expected to be notified mid-2018.
3. A Sites and Places of Significance to Mana Whenua plan change. This plan change will add sites to the current schedule of Sites and Places of Significance (see our separate blog). Council will shortly commence consultation with directly affected landowners. A plan change is expected to be notified early 2018.
4. A Whenuapai Structure Plan change. This plan change will give effect to the recently adopted Whenuapai Structure Plan. The plan change will go to "pre-notification public consultation" in mid April 2017.
In addition to the above, the Planning Committee has instructed officers to undertake a comprehensive review of tree protection under the Unitary Plan. This may lead to a further, more significant, plan change increasing tree protection generally.
Plan Changes under Investigation
The Planning Committee agenda reveals that Council officers are investigating a number of other potential plan changes as well. Of most note, officers are investigating plan changes to:
1. Add approximately 70 sites to the Historic Heritage overlay.
2. Add four Historic Heritage Areas to the Historic Heritage overlay.
3. Add an unspecified number of Special Character Areas (following resolution of Housing NZ’s appeal against the existing Special Character Area provisions).
4. Amend the plan to give effect to the Marine Spatial Plan released in December 2016.
5. Amend the plan to bring the Hauraki Gulf Islands into the plan.
No timetable has been given for the work on these plan changes yet.
We will monitor Council's progress on these plan changes and provide updates from time to time, but please feel free to contact us if you would like us to dig deeper into a particular plan change on your behalf.