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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
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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.

What recent changes are affecting land development planning processes?

Land Development Planning is evolving rapidly, driven by changes in the Resource Management Act legislation and the replacement of district plans across the country. What was applicable last week may not hold true this week, and additional restrictions may have been introduced. Staying informed about these changes or potential shifts ensures a comprehensive understanding of the risks and opportunities linked to any new land or business venture.

While land is often marketed as subdividable, changes in zoning and the introduction of multiple overlays mean it's not merely about having enough land area. Each site necessitates scrutiny against relevant district and regional plan provisions, considering factors like flood or liquefaction hazards, identification as Highly Productive Land, or contamination status (a HAIL site). Each additional layer impacting on the success and cost of subdivision potential.

Why do Resource Consent matter for existing businesses?

For existing business opportunities, understanding if the business has the necessary resource consents is crucial. Knowledge of consent conditions, such as operational hours, staff or visitor limits, parking restrictions, or business scale, is essential. Operating outside these conditions may lead to council enforcement actions, accompanied by fines if corrective measures are not taken promptly. Due diligence and robust understanding of the existing business resource consents allows corrections to existing restrictions to be undertaken prior to purchasing the business, placing the onus of success on the vendor.

What planning rules affect new land development projects?

When contemplating a new business venture or establishing a business in a new location, it's helpful to understand planning rules applicable to the chosen activity. Factors like traffic generation, noise levels, or signage details may need to be considered and breeching these rules unknowingly can result in compliance issues. Similarly, assuming a construction project is ready to proceed without realizing the need for an additional resource consent, can lead to unexpected delays and costs. Applying for a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) or talking directly to Council is a good starting point.

Why seek land development planning services?

In this dynamic environment, seeking land development planning advice from a planning professional becomes a crucial component of due diligence for any new land or business opportunity. It offers a strategic approach to navigating swiftly changing rules and legislation, ensuring that your ventures align with regulations and set the stage for success for 2024 and years to come!

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