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The impact of consent notices when purchasing land

By Olivia Edwards, Graduate Planner, Baseline Group | Jun 17, 2022

Buying or selling a home can be a stressful time, and due diligence forms are a critical part of deciding if you ought to purchase a home. We advise all our clients to check the title for consent notices, and to understand what these mean for the future use of land and buildings.

A consent notice is a restriction held on a Certificate of Title that requires ongoing compliance for any activity on that site. Consent notices are imposed by Council and often relate to underlying resource or subdivision consents. They can refer to matters such as retaining existing landscaping, restrictions on building materials, a significant natural or cultural feature, building platforms, or methods of servicing.

Consent notices can also be relevant to a particular area your application site is in. New subdivisions often have consent notices with specific conditions related to landscaping and fencing requirements, or what can be built on site. This may restrict your ability to subdivide or develop your site. A property title can have one, or multiple, consent notices and they are permanently held on a title meaning they can have a big impact on your project.

If you have a consent notice on your title, there may be additional reports at the time of construction to demonstrate the proposed activity is suitable for the site. This might be a land assessment by a certified geotechnical engineer, a Detailed Site Investigation if contaminated soils are present, or it might simply require a landowner to install a portable water supply.

A planner will be able to identify if there is a consent notice on your title and discuss your options with you to either remove the consent notice or work around it. Consent notices can be changed if an activity cannot be complied with by making an application to Council. An application needs to include an “Assessment of Environmental Effects” (AEE) that describes the environment, the proposed change in the consent notice, and assesses the potential environmental effects and the ability to maintain Council Objectives and Policies.

If you need to change a consent notice held on your title, a planner can work with you through each step of the process, providing expert advice to guide you through your project. Working with you and liaising with the Council on your behalf, a planner can review any existing consent applications and draft an application to submit to Council.

Alternatively, a planner will be able to help you identify what you need to work within the limits of your consent notice and connect you with the right expertise to allow you to build upon or use your land.

Consent notices impact how you build and what you can do with your land. So, when carrying out due diligence on a property, always check and understand the contents of a consent notice.

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