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Managing Wastewater in Rural Canterbury: A Guide for Property Owners

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner, Baseline Group Ph 0800123257 E: info@ | Apr 17, 2024

Onsite wastewater systems in Rural Canterbury are reasonably common and are also known as septic tank systems. Appropriately dealing with sewage from rural property is important to ensure waste is not entering streams, groundwater or pooling in the backyard your children play in. It is essentially a public health matter, and the installation of on-site wastewater treatment systems is controlled by the Regional Council, Environment Canterbury (ECan).

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Importance of Sediment Management in Land Development Projects: Simple Techniques for Effective Sediment Runoff Control

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner, Baseline Group, Ph 0800123257 E: info@ | Apr 17, 2024

Land development projects play a crucial role in shaping urban and rural landscapes, providing spaces for housing, commerce, and infrastructure. However, these projects can also have significant environmental impacts, particularly concerning sediment runoff into waterways. Sediment management during land development is essential to mitigate these impacts and protect water quality, ecosystems, and human health.

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Time matters – With Resource Consent

By Lisa Perry, Planner, Baseline Group, Christchurch Ph 0800 257 123 | Mar 08, 2024

For most development projects, time is money and a common complaint with Resource Consent is delays. Consent authorities have a duty to avoid unreasonable delays. Not keeping to agreed timeframes under the Resource Management Act (RMA) has implications for applicants and consent authorities alike. For applicants, timeframe over runs can result in cashflow crises and budget blow outs. For consent authorities (Council), a timeframe failure allows applicants to claim refunds on processing fees of up to 50% and may also result in reputational damage if it is a regular occurrence.

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The rise or fall of rural lifestyle blocks in the Selwyn District?

By Laurie Atkinson, Planner, Baseline Group | Ph: 03 339 0401 | E: | Feb 19, 2024

New Zealand is arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world and therefore it is no surprise that more and more people are opting to live in rural lifestyle blocks. Lifestyle blocks, despite being a rural construct, have big association to cities, with dwellers often undertaking most of their activities within the city. Lifestyle blocks have become an attractive option in Selwyn with residents living in the Selwyn district and carrying out most daily activities within Christchurch.

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Navigating New Opportunities: The Importance of Land Development Planning in 2024

By Anna Bensemann Senior Planner, Baseline Group, E: | Jan 24, 2024

As we usher in a new year, fresh prospects emerge for those considering investments in property or venturing into new business opportunities and with this land development planning is imperative. In this dynamic planning landscape, thorough due diligence is key to understanding the intricacies and potential challenges associated with these prospects. When it comes to land or land resources, seeking advice from a professional planner becomes invaluable, providing insights into compliance, costs, and potential limitations tied to your aspirations.

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What does The Selwyn District Plan (appeals version) mean for the planning process and consent?

By By Laurie Atkinson, Planner, Baseline Group | Ph: 03 339 0401 | E: | Dec 21, 2023

On the 27th of November 2023 the new Selwyn District Plan became live as an appeals version. This has created an interesting dynamic in how planning applications are assessed as there is complex interaction between the old operative plan and the new partially operative plan. The appeals version shows the rules, objectives and policies and any other provisions that have been appealed against. You might be asking yourself, but what effect will this have on someone looking to subdivide or develop in the Selwyn District? It’s a good question and one I will do my best to answer!

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How to navigate Rural Land Development Under the National Policy Statement on Highly Productive Soils

By Anna Bensemann, Senior planner, Baseline Group Marlborough | Dec 21, 2023

The National Policy Statement (NPS) on Highly Productive Soils, established in 2022, has had a significant impact on rural land development in New Zealand. Targeting all Land Use Classification 1, 2, and 3 soils – defined as lands highly suitable for agricultural production – irrespective of their current use or potential improvement, this policy primarily aims to prevent the loss of these valuable lands for productive uses. While its intentions are to safeguard agricultural land, the NPS has raised several challenges, particularly in agricultural activities and land subdivision.

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Rivers, Lakes and Coastline, Public Space for All

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner Baseline Group Marlborough, Ph:0800 254 123 | Dec 08, 2023

The right of access to and along the margins of rivers, lakes and the coastline by the public, is embedded in the Resource Management Act (RMA). District and Regional Councils are encouraged to provide and promote general public access to these spaces, for the amenity and wellbeing of all of our communities.

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Confused by Environmental Legislation? You are Not Alone.

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner Baseline Group Marlborough, Ph: 03 339 0401 | Nov 22, 2023

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