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Decision Released On Plan Change To Allow Greater Building Coverage

A proposed plan change by the Taupō District Council will allow for increased building coverage on residential properties and reduce the amount of red tape for homeowners to deal with.

Plan Change 39 – Residential Building Coverage proposes to increase building coverage in most of the district’s residential environments from 30 percent to 35 percent.

Building coverage sets the maximum amount of land that buildings can cover on a residential property. So, at 35 percent, if your property is 600m², buildings could cover 210m² of your land. Under the current rules you would be allowed 180m2.

At last month’s council meeting on 28 November, elected members approved the notification of the decision on the plan change, as recommended by an independent hearing panel. The panel recommended the plan change be approved unchanged.

Before the change can become operative, there is a 30-day period where the decision can be appealed by those who originally submitted on the plan change. Once the 30-day period is over, appeal resolution begins, or if there are no appeals the plan change is made operative.

Due to a statutory shutdown period under the Resource Management Act, between 20 December and 10 January, the appeal period runs until 7 February 2024.

The proposed increase in building coverage is in response to the way people are choosing to live, such as larger families looking to live together out of necessity or cultural reasons. This results in landowners seeking larger buildings, subsequently requiring resource consent to exceed building coverage. Resource consent is generally granted for applications exceeding the maximum site coverage, and therefore this process is creating unnecessary additional costs and adding time to the development process.

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The plan change was notified as part of a bundle of six plan changes in October 2022. It then went through the submission and hearing process.

As Plan Change 39 is discrete in its changes, it has been released before the other changes to allow the benefits to kick in as soon as possible. The remaining five plan changes will be released in early 2024. The Council team is planning on looking at a full review of the residential chapter as one of the next steps in keeping the District Plan current. If you would like to know more about that you can email districtplan@taupo.govt.nz.

For more information, go to www.taupo.govt.nz/districtplanchanges.

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