2016 will be remembered by many around the world for Brexit and Trump. In New Zealand it was also the year of the great flag debate and Prime Minister John Key stepping down. Take it one step further and in Auckland it was marred with the continued housing crisis. Not enough housing, not enough land and too many restrictive planning rules placed on developments.
However for me, a planner, the “Auckland Unitary Plan” announcements have been at the forefront of my mind for much of the year. And while the media have not been reporting on it with the same enthusiasm as the US Election if you are buying/selling or developing in Auckland you need to understand the implications which surround it.
So what is currently going on with the Auckland Unitary Plan? A number of appeals were lodged with the Environment Court and we are now in a period of transition until the appeals are resolved.
What is interesting however is how large parts of Auckland have zonings which are effectively operative now. This means in these areas a lot of weight can be placed on the plan's relatively liberal planning regime. Other areas however, such as much of Auckland's eastern suburbs, are largely under appeal.
This is resulting in good development options being available now in some locations, whilst in other areas things are a bit less certain.
It is at times like these, more than ever, that sound planning advice is critical when considering development options.
Our planning team at TPG can demystify the Unitary Plan for you, providing you with insightful and incisive advice.