The Unitary Plan – Opportunities and potential minefields

The Unitary Plan has opened up huge new development opportunity across Auckland. There are also quite a few subtle things about the Plan that Planners are picking up on as we come to grips with the Plan.

At The Property Group, we have been assisting Auckland Council with project managing and assessing mid to large scale residential developments. This has required us to come up to speed very quickly with the Decision Version of the Unitary Plan, released late last year.

I’ve seen a number of development proposals come unstuck due to the fact that developers’ designers or planning advisors have not fully grasped the Unitary Plan.

An example came across my desk at Council today. A large scale development where the applicant assumed that a certain development approach meeting certain Unitary Plan development standards would avoid any potential for the written approval of neighbours. Unfortunately, the interpretation of the rules was incorrect, and I have advised that the severe shading impacts the proposal would generate on neighbours would necessitate their written approvals.

The applicant wants to avoid this risk. They can and will redesign in order to avoid public notification, however they have now lost significant time and money.

I have encountered several other similar scenarios to this, and it will probably take a while for professionals to properly come up to speed with the plan and its interpretations.

Fortunately, I believe our planning team at TPG have already climbed that steep learning curve. We’ve had to, to fulfil our role for Council.

Get in touch with us today to help add value and avoid risk to your development projects.