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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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Flood Management | Changes in Selwyn

By Lisa Perry and Laurie Atkinson, Planners, Baseline Group | Sep 08, 2023

Natural hazards pose a growing threat to communities and properties worldwide, and New Zealand is no exception, meaning flood management is essential. A recent example is the Selwyn River flood that occurred in July of this year.To address such challenges amongst others, Selwyn District Council establishes a District Plan. At present Selwyn has two district plans: the outgoing Operative District Plan and the new Partially Operative District Plan (PODP) Within these plans is a significant focus on flood management. It's crucial to understand the implications of both plans when engaging in land development.

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Historic Heritage Challenges for Landowners

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner, Baseline Group | Aug 28, 2023

Having a slice of New Zealand's history is a unique experience. The stories of how the land was used, who owned it, and all the trades and sales that happened are pretty fascinating. But dealing with this history and making any changes to the land can be a bit tricky, especially if you're thinking about making alterations.

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Crime Prevention Through Environment Design (CPTED)

By Rose Leighton, Planner, Baseline Group | Aug 15, 2023

The concept of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) has an increased influence on development located within the Medium Design Residential Zone in Selwyn, due to the recently introduced Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021. If your property falls within this zone and you require a Resource Consent for development, these principles will likely influence your design choices.

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New Indigenous Biodiversity Legislation Mandates Significant Natural Area Identification

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner, Baseline Group Marlborough | Jul 27, 2023

The National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS – IB) will have an impact on landowners' ability to clear native vegetation on private land starting from 4 August 2023. The primary objective of the NPS – IB is to ensure no net loss of indigenous biodiversity across Aotearoa New Zealand. It encompasses provisions that district and regional councils must adhere to in order to implement changes to their planning regulations.

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With increasing density, good design matters

By Lisa Perry, Senior Planner, Baseline Group | Jun 30, 2023

New Zealand is more accustomed to building out, rather than up, and many New Zealanders are not comfortable with medium density in traditionally low-density suburbs, for good reason. Density done poorly can lead to detrimental outcomes on residential amenity and on the wellbeing of society’s least mobile: children, people with disabilities, the poor, and the elderly. Think developments separated from schools and shops by distance or major infrastructure (highways and railways); bulky, unattractive developments that look nothing like the surrounding neighbourhood; developments with poor access to sunlight and green space; developments where buildings dominate.

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Your Rights as an Affected Neighbour: Navigating Development Under the RMA

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner, Baseline Group | Jun 16, 2023

When your neighbour decides to do a development next door you may be concerned how the changes might affect you enjoying your own property. This can be a greater concern if your neighbour is Kāinga Ora, the government agency responsible for social housing. It is helpful to understand what the District Plan is going to manage, and what your rights are throughout this process.

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How Tree Canopies Transform Neighbourhoods and Enhance Lives

By Mike Vincent, Senior Planner / Associate, Baseline Group | Jun 02, 2023

Arbour Day has been celebrated in New Zealand since 5 June 1977, recognising the significance of trees in our lives. The date change from August 4th was a strategic move to ensure tree planting occurs during the optimal season. However, integrating trees into the development of new neighbourhoods should not be limited to a single day of the year. The importance of incorporating trees and green spaces into residential settings cannot be emphasised enough. District Councils and Developers play a vital role in ensuring the provision and preservation of these green assets for generations to come. A vibrant tree canopy not only enhances the visual appeal of our communities but also offers an array of benefits that profoundly impact our quality of life.

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Balancing Common Sense and Legal Process under the RMA: Protecting Communities and the Environment

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner, Baseline Group | May 18, 2023

When it comes to district planning, the fixed nature of rules often raises questions about their practicality. While it may seem unreasonable for a resource consent to be required for minor breaches, it is essential to consider the broader implications of such leniency. It is important to strike a balance between common sense and legal processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), emphasizing the need to protect communities and environment.

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