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Private Plan Changes

22 August 2022

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

As towns and cities grow, the rules and zones in planning documents need to change to accommodate the need for more housing and more commercial areas. These changes can be forced on Local Council by central government, as we have seen recently. Or they can be proactively changed by Councils as part of their forward planning. Or alternatively, zone changes can be initiated by individuals and presented to their local Council for consideration. There are a number of issues that Council need to consider when deciding whether to allow a plan change to proceed. Many of the recent rezonings of land in the Southern parts of Auckland have been initiated by private individuals rather than Council. At Birch, a significant proportion of our planning time is being spent on Plan changes, particularly on the fringe of Pukekohe and Pokeno.

Our success on these projects is a function of the significant preliminary investigations that have been undertaken with supporting reports. These address such matters as urban design, roading, infrastructure, reserves, costs, and timing. The success or otherwise of a plan change will depend on whether the proposal integrates well with Council’s strategic and planning documents, whether there is local community support for the change, and the timing of the request.

The Resource Management Act deals with requests for private plan changes and how these need to be dealt with, and the decisions that Council are required to make.