Waimakariri District Plan Review

There is a new District Plan coming, and we expect major changes to the minimum lot size for rural subdivisions, in some or most parts of the District.

If you own 8.0 hectares (20 acres) or more of rural land in Waimakariri District and you’ve been considering subdividing...NOW is the time to have a chat to us about your options.

What is the Waimakariri District Plan?

The District Plan is the Council’s planning rulebook and governs how people can build on or develop land in North Canterbury.

As well as making sure that future development is sustainable and protects our natural resources for generations to come, the Plan ensures that new development meets regulatory requirements like our National Planning Standards and the Resource Management Act. It also supports growth in the region - the Waimakariri District is booming and needs a robust set of rules to make sure it can continue to grow well into the future.

The District Plan is reviewed every 10 years to make sure it’s up to date with the needs of the community, and current regulations. It’s under review at the moment, with the updated plan scheduled for release in mid-2021.

We’ve had a thorough read of the Waimakariri 2048 District Development Strategy - which is the Council document that underpins the District Plan - and we expect the new plan to include changes to the rules and requirements around subdivisions.

What are the current rules for rural subdivisions?

The current Waimakariri District Plan allows for rural subdivision and building, as long as your lot meets a minimum size of 4 hectares, (and certain other criteria).

What are the proposed changes?

Until the updated Plan is released, we won’t know the full details - but there are strong indications that the minimum lot size for subdivisions may increase.

Simply put: it’s likely that if you want to subdivide, 8.0 hectares (2 x 4 ha lots) may no longer be enough - you’ll need a larger piece of land.

The Waimakariri 2048 District Development Strategy says;

“While lifestyle lots are a feature of the District and many enjoy the open spaces, the most frequent comment made during early community consultation was a desire to restrict further subdivision of rural land into lifestyle lots [...] Based on the feedback received the Council may explore increasing the minimum rural lot sizes in parts of the District.”

Council also noted that over the last decade, 73% of all new rural houses were on lots between 4 - 4.99 hectares in size and that if this trend continues more than 3600 new lifestyle lots would be created by 2048.

What does this mean for me?

If you’ve been considering applying for subdivision consent in North Canterbury, we encourage you to make your application before the new District Plan comes into force.

If you secure your subdivision consent now, it’ll be valid for five years - so while you don’t have to subdivide straight away you can lock in your consent before the rules change, and preserve your slice of rural paradise!

Give our friendly team a call or an email and we can talk you through the application and consent process.

Download and read the full Waimakariri 2048 District Development Strategy here.

Take advantage of our years of experience and knowledge about these changes