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MORE LAND TO BE OPENED UP FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE BAY

Under new legislation, the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 ("the Act") identifies that more land must be opened up for residential development in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty in order to curb the housing supply and affordability issues facing the region.

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith clarified this in a recent statement, as follows

"The major housing challenge in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty is managing projected population growth of 64,000 people over the next 20 years.  This will require an additional 1,300 homes per year, but only 800 per year have been built over the past 5 years, contributing to high house prices." 

The Act sets out that land opened up for residential development must comply with the following:

  1. The development must be located where there is existing infrastructure within the defined special housing area.

  2. The development must not be higher than six storeys' high and 27 metres in height.

  3. The development must contain not fewer than the prescribed minimum number of dwellings to be built as well as contain not less than the prescribed percentage of affordable dwellings. 

As to what these prescribed covenants will be are yet to be agreed upon by the Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council with the Housing Minister. Should an agreement not be reached, the Governor General may by Order in Council on the recommendation of the Housing Minister prescribe the covenants to be enforced under the Act. 

The Act provides a significantly different regime to that under the Resource Management Act 1991. It offers to streamline the resource consenting process and fast track an applicant's application. It also restricts a person's right to appeal the Council's decision to the Environment Court or by judicial review if the development built is 3 or less storeys high. Such benefits are only available until 16 September 2016.

 

Written by Alister Moran at 09:00

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