THINKING OF SUB-DIVIDING OR BUILDING? THINGS HAVE CHANGED FOR RURAL ZONES
Have you thought about how the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) could impact your plans?
The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) is about ensuring the availability of New Zealand’s most favourable soils for food and fibre production, now and for future generations. The NPS-HPL requires that productive land must be protected from inappropriate subdivision, use and development, and that the productive capacity of the land in maintained. If your land is identified as being Class 1, 2 or 3 Highly Productive Land, then the NPS-HPL applies to you.
How Can You Tell if You Have Class 1, 2 or 3 Land?
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research have a free online mapping tool which you can use to identify the Land Use Class for your property. Head over to this link (https://ourenvironment.scinfo.org.nz/maps-and-tools/app/Land%20Capability/lri_luc_main), type in your address and see if the NPS-HPL applies to your property.
It’s important to note that Councils are going to be completing a process of re-mapping their Districts. So while your land may or may not be Class 1, 2 or 3 now, this may change in the future.
What Does This Mean for Your Project?
If your property has highly productive land (HPL) then the NPS-HPL may mean that your project is not able to go ahead or alternatively that the threshold for obtaining a Resource Consent is higher. As part of your Land Use Consent application you will need to demonstrate how your proposed activity aligns with the NPS-HPL. In some cases, this will require a Planning Assessment, while more complex proposals will require liaison with technical consultants, such as an economic assessment pertaining to the NPS-HPL. The outcomes of this assessment will determine the basis for the resource consent application. Should the outcome be favourable, this will provide a strong basis for a Resource Consent application. Should the outcome demonstrate that the productive capacity of the land will be impacted, then the probability of successfully obtaining a Resource Consent will be diminished.
The Activity Status within your District Council’s Plan influences the level of detail you will need to provide in support of your Resource Consent application.
Many District Councils have signalled that they will likely commission a peer review of economic reports where the NPS-HPL applies. This means evidence provided may be independently reviewed and feedback or suggestions given. This may result in additional costs for the Applicant and may delay the application.
Our team have extensive experience in resource management, consenting and environmental planning. We can liaise with the Council on your behalf to collate the required information and give you a picture of what is possible. Our preliminary assessments can give you the information you need to identify possible risks, potential technical costs and assess the suitability of your land for development.
The landscape is changing. Don’t hesitate, call our team today to discuss your development.
Posted: 1 June 2023