WHAT AM I ALLOWED TO DO WITH MY PROPERTY IN INVERCARGILL?
So, you own little slice of paradise in the Invercargill area that you think could be a good candidate for further development or improvement. Maybe you’re thinking of undertaking some building work; maybe an extension or a new garage. Maybe you could increase the amount of living space on the site through the addition of a ‘granny flat’, or by subdividing off a chunk of land and building a new dwelling. Whatever project you have in mind, the first thing you’re probably going to ask is “What am I actually allowed to do with my property?”. Or put another way, “What are the rules and restrictions I have to consider and comply with when developing my property?”.
If you’re reading this then it is likely you have already taken the first step in trying to answer that question, so well done you. Charging off without first considering the limits on development is a recipe for disaster and can result in a huge waste of time and money if you later find out that what you’re hoping to do isn’t going to be as straight forward as you hoped. To give you a brief overview of what you need to consider, we have developed a very brief summary of the Invercargill City District Plan rules that manage residential development within Invercargill.
Can I Subdivide?
There are three residential zones in the Invercargill district - Residential 1 and 1A (the main residential areas in Invercargill) and Residential 2 (Bluff and Omaui). Subdivision in each of these zones will follow largely the same process, but the matters dictating if and how you can subdivide will differ slightly between zones.
To be able to split an existing property into two in the main residential parts of Invercargill, you will need a minimum of 700m2. This is because all new allotments in these areas must have a minimum land area of 350m2 (commonly referred to as the minimum lot size). In the residential part of Bluff (known as the Residential 2 Zone), the minimum lot size is 750m2, meaning you will need at least 1500m2 if you want to subdivide there.
The other two main living zones in the Invercargill district are Otatara and the Rural Zone. The minimum lot size in the Rural Zone is 2 hectares (meaning you need at least 4 hectares of land to be able to subdivide).
Otatara is slightly different in that the minimum lot size is dependent on whether the property is or can be connected to the Council’s reticulated sewerage system. If it can, the minimum lot size is 4000m2 (i.e. roughly 1 acre), which means you need at least 8000m2 to be able to subdivide. If it is not connected to the reticulated sewerage system, then any wastewater will need to be disposed of onsite. As a result, the minimum lot size in this case is 1 hectare (or 10,000m2), meaning you’ll need at least 2 hectares to be able to subdivide.
What Else Do I Need to Consider?
In addition to the minimum lot size requirements above, there are a number of other factors that may affect your ability subdivide, or the way the site can be developed once it has been subdivided. These factors include whether the site is located within any important landscape and/or native vegetation areas, whether it is subject to river flooding or sea level rise/storm surge, or whether it is located either under the airport flight paths or within airport noise boundaries. Properties within these areas may not be as readily subdivided or developed as others.
All sites will also need to be connected to Council’s infrastructure (i.e. water and drainage services, the local roading network etc.). Again, how these properties integrate with infrastructure will vary from site to site and so it is best to seek advice from a planner as to what these might be. The team at WM Environmental have extensive experience in subdivision and development in Invercargill, and have the knowledge required to provide comprehensive and reliable advice as to the consenting requirements for your project. We can also help to successfully obtain those consents in a timely, hassle free and inexpensive manner. Just give us a call for a no obligation discussion and we can provide you with all the information you need to get started whatever project you have in mind for your property.
If you would like to learn about what you can build in Invercargill check out our next article.
Posted: 17 July 2020