I have written previous articles on the processes involved and the provision to transfer subdivision entitlements from one property to another. As Surveyors in Franklin/Auckland/Waikato and Western Bay/Tauranga areas, we are involved in many of these applications. These provisions are commonly referred to as Transfer Development Rights (TDR's). In essence these provisions enable one property owner who has more than one title on their property to transfer (sell) a title to a property owner in another area. The process involves a Surveyor making an application on behalf of the landowner to Council to enable this to occur.
Because the result is an additional title(s) being created in a new area, neighbours are frequently consulted with a view to obtaining their consent. A neighbour's consent assists Council in determing whether there are other affected parties. If Council deems other parties are potentially adversely affected, then it is likely that the application would be notified to those parties, and potentially other persons as well.
As well as consulting with our clients neighbours on these matters, we are regularly called upon to provide advice to neighbours who have been approached to provide their consent to a proposed title transfer. The advice we provide is to firstly provide an understanding of what is occurring and why they have been approached for their consent. We also familarize these people with the process of land subdivision under the Resource Management Act and the implications for them of giving their consent. Usually we have been approached because they are not comfortable with or oppose the proposed subdivision. This is normally related to a sense of a loss of their privacy, rural amenity, or outlook and sometimes a sense that their property will be devalued with a new dwelling close by. We assist these parties with an understanding of their rights under the RMA and can provide assistance with preparing submissions to Council. Where necessary we will also represent them at Council hearings.
It is however important to realize that these provisions have been provided in the Councils rules for subdivision and dependant on the circumstances, Council may grant the consent without a neighbours approval