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District Plan in Selwyn – How will it Affect You?

By Anna Bensemann | Sept 03, 2021

Selwyn District Council are ready to notify a revised new District Plan in early October. While it’s not certain what this new plan will contain, we understand that the current large number of planning zones is to be reduced. No doubt this will change the zoning for parts of our urban and rural zones and may also change the minimum area you can easily subdivide your land too.

With any plan change there are winners and losers as the new rules look to impose restrictions across the newly formed zones and relax restrictions in others. Some will be able to create smaller allotments, others my find they are no longer able to subdivide easily. Once notified any person can make a submission and explain to decision makers why their land should be able to be subdivided to smaller (or larger) allotment sizes, and this needs to be backed by some robust planning reasons to be successful.

However, you may choose to utilize the existing rule structure to subdivide your property. If you have been thinking about this for a while, and you can easily subdivide, the uncertainty around district plan changes could be the stimulant that spurs you into action today.

Currently in Selwyn the primary Urban zones are Living 1 and 2 zones, although the minimum allotments for these zones vary between townships. The Living 1 at Lincoln, Leeston, Doyleston and Darfield is 650 m², 750 m² in Rolleston and 800 m² in Dunsandel, Kirwee and Prebbleton. There are lots of other zones that allow for smaller or larger section sizes in these townships. It is these variations that Council is aiming to reduce.

Each site is different and the planning rules that specifically apply such as driveway widths, setbacks from streams and the shape of new allotments will need to be addressed in any planning application seeking the subdivision of your property.

Being aware of what is possible on your site whether subdividing or building under the existing district plan is also important for understanding how the new district plan might change the future of your site. This can be useful for making a submission in support of the changes or in opposition to them. Supporting changes that benefit your land is just as important as this encourages decision makers to retain proposed changes. I have written about making submissions before and I recommend you check back issues of the Ellesmere Echo for more information. Back issues are available free online.

Although it will be a few years before any proposed district plan changes have an effect on your ability to subdivide or otherwise use your land, understanding what you can do now is an important tool for ensuring any changes fit with your expectations for your land.

The best way to know what is possible with your land under the current planning regime is to contact your favorite planning company and make an enquiry.

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