Auckland Council’s Governing Body has resolved to make the Auckland Unitary Plan operative in part.
The decision by the Governing Body followed an assessment of 106 appeals lodged with the Environment Court and High Court.
Penny Pirrit, Director Regulatory Services, says that most of the appeals relate only to specific sites or provisions in the plan, meaning large parts of the Regional Policy Statement, Coastal Plan and some parts of the District Plan could be made operative immediately.
However, a joint appeal lodged by Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition, which is broad in scope, has the potential to impact residential development across Auckland.
Because that appeal challenges certain zoning decisions, significant parts of the zoning maps cannot become operative until that appeal is resolved.
This may mean that applications for resource consent to develop a property will also need to be assessed against the relevant operative legacy planning zones and rules.
“Until all appeals are resolved, Auckland Council is required to assess all resource consent applications against parts of both the old and new plans,” says Ms Pirrit.
“Decisions will need to be made on a case by case basis as to how much weight can be given to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan versus the operative legacy district and regional plans.”
“In practical terms, this will add greater complexity and a degree of uncertainty for applicants while the appeal process is ongoing.”
Ms Pirrit says the process and timeframe for resolving the appeals is a matter for the courts, however the council will be working with all parties to ensure that they are resolved as quickly as possible.
Council staff are now preparing an annotated version of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan – Decisions Version, which will show which parts of the Plan remain subject to appeal. The Plan will be made operative in part following a statutory process.
Last year Auckland Council processed close to 15,000 resource consents.
The plan will be made operative in part following a statutory process.