Some of you may have recently received a letter from the Auckland Council titled ‘Proposed Plan Change 20 – Rural Activity Status’? – If you have, and you struggled to know what it was about, or what this might mean for you, then the post which Phelan Pirrie (Rodney Local Council Board member) has recently posted into the Kaukapakapa Group on facebook, may help.

Link for those of you in that group (it is a closed group):

—- Phelan’s post follows —-

Plan Change 20.

A number of rural residents will have received a letter from Council about a proposed Plan Change to the rural ‘activity tables’ in the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP).

It is probably a confusing jumble of planning jargon for anyone without a Degree in Planning so I’m going to try and explain it in plain English and in less than 2000 words (and I don’t have a planning degree).

The Auckland Unitary Plan is constantly being tested by land owners and developers and parts of it need to be reviewed because there may be unintended consequences of clauses.

In this situation there is a table of activities (see screen shots below) in ‘H19 Rural Zones’ that provides a list of things you’d normally expect to see in a rural area, and defines whether they are;
Permitted (you can just get on with it),
Controlled, (you need a consent),
Restricted Discretionary (you need a consent, and Council can choose whether to grant one or impose conditions),
Non-Complying (you need a consent but there’s a high bar applicants must jump to prove activity is OK),
Prohibited (forget it)

This link explains all the different activities in reasonably plain English.…/resource-consents-and…/

Council has had some resource consent applications that have gone to the Environment Court and the judge has taken an interpretation of the AUP that wasn’t what was intended by Council and the intent of the plan.

They are proposing to change the Rural Zones activities table so that everything NOT in the table will be ‘Non-Complying’. Currently, it is ‘Discretionary’. This would set a higher bar meaning applicants would have to show that the proposed activity would not be contrary to the objectives of the AUP and the effects would be less than minor.

This would mean that you are less likely to have an unexpected non-rural type activity springing up next to you.

The other change is a change of the term ‘residential dwelling’ to ‘dwelling’ – this is due to an application where the judge’s interpretation of ‘residential dwelling” was a ‘residential care business in a three storey building complex’.

I can give some examples but it would tip me over the 2000 words.

You can make a submission on the proposed Plan Change on this link……/pc-20-rural-activity-…

—- His screenshots have been included here too: —-

—- I hope this helps people make better sense of what they’ve sent out ?? – Chris. Below is a copy of the original letter received from the council. —-