Skip to main content


But that’s the way we have always done it!

By Anna Bensemann, Senior Planner Baseline Group | Nov 22, 2021

Just because you have always been allowed to do something does not mean you will not need a resource consent for that activity in the future. Activities to the use of the coastal environment, a discharge to land, air or water, a water take for irrigation, or the use of the bed of a river may require future consent if a Regional or Unitary Council change the rules.

Learn more

What does a professional planner do?

By Rose Leighton | Oct 08, 2021

Acquiring a resource consent can involve several different professionals, including planners, surveyors, lawyers, landscape architects, engineers, and ecologists. So how does planning differ from other professions and when should you engage one?

Learn more

Who Shapes our Planning Rules?

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 23, 2021

With Further Submissions to the Selwyn District Plan due to open soon, it’s interesting to consider where our planning rules come from. The district plan is full of rules that determine building setback distance from neighbours, roads, reserves and waterways. It sets out the maximum height of buildings, the maximum amount of site covered with buildings and the minimum allotment area for the subdivision. All of these rules have fixed and definite limits in terms of specific meters or square meters.

Learn more

Risks to farmland in the planning framework

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 22, 2021

With the RMA under scrutiny lately and a new planning framework for managing risks to land being integrated over the next two years, it’s a good time to consider the potential environmental risks to your land and how you might best manage them.

Learn more

Spotlight on District Plan Provisions

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 14, 2021

The Proposed Selwyn District Plan includes a number of residential zones including the Large Lot Residential Zone, which has a minimum allotment size of 3000 m². This zone is proposed on the edge of townships to provide a buffer between intensive residential activities and the General Rural Zone. There are large areas around Darfield, Kirwee and West Melton and smaller areas on the periphery of Prebbleton, Lincoln, Leeston, Dunsandel, Southbridge and Rolleston.

Learn more

Selwyn District Council Changes Urban Allotment Sizes

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 13, 2021

With a proposed new district plan notified and going through a public participation process it is useful to consider what changes to the rules have been proposed. For example, one change is the urban zone minimum allotment sizes for residential activities. The existing planning framework for Selwyn has been modified through various processes over the years and it is very difficult to determine the minimum allotment as it varies between townships and there are multiple zones within a township that do not appear to follow rhyme or reason.

Learn more

Proposed Selwyn District Plan - What next?

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 10, 2021

After having made your submission to the proposed Selwyn District Plan outlining concerns with changes or lack of changes to zoning, flood risk areas, noise limits, changes to minimum allotment sizes, or changes that enable multi-unit developments on site, - you may be asking what is the next step?

Learn more

Good District Plan provisions save time and money

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 09, 2021

New planning provisions in district and regional plans can lead to an increase in public notification of resource consent applications to ensure any activities that are outside the anticipated planning provisions are appropriate. The costs of the public notification and subsequent hearing process can be in the order of tens of thousands of dollars to the applicant under the RMA’s user pays system, emphasizing the need to get our planning provisions correct early on.

Learn more

A Practical Guide for District Plan Reviews

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 08, 2021

Understanding changes in legislation can be difficult enough, and with the Government bringing in new provisions under National Policy Statements and National Environmental Standards, it can be difficult to keep up. At a local level, there are many district and unitary councils going through a plan change process after their 10-year plan review and are making rule and policy changes consistent with national legislative changes.

Learn more

Planning Rules can Affect Property Value

By Anna Bensemann | Sep 07, 2021

The Selwyn District council have notified a new District Plan with planning rules that govern how we use our properties and what our neighbors can do on their properties. These permitted activities are intended to ensure amenity values are achieved within our communities. The activities undertaken on your property or neighbouring properties can influence the value of property.

Learn more