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Transferable development rights

20 February 2011

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

Plan Change 14 (‘The Rural Plan change”) provided for Transferable Development Rights. These have been discussed in previous articles, but with progress towards resolving appeals on the plan change, Council have become more accepting of such forms of subdivision. A number of such subdivisions have been approved which move a title from one property to another.

The sale of “rights” is not uncommon but in the context of transferring rights for subdivision purposes, the rights being purchased are the rights attached to a vacant title. The land itself is not sold. Where a vendor owns a vacant title (the donor site), and also another adjoining title, they can sell the rights attached to the vacant title to a purchaser wishing to transfer those rights to their own property (the recipient site). With the consent of Council, these rights can be transferred, and the purchaser acquires a new title on their property and the vendor amalgamates the vacant title with their adjoining title.

With the creation of Auckland Council, and the division of the Franklin District between Auckland and Waikato, some transferable lot subdivisions may need to be considered by both Auckland Council and Waikato District. This will occur where the donor and recipient sites are not both in the same Council area. Hopefully the Councils can work cooperatively with applicants to minimize the costs and processing of such applications.