Selwyn District Plan Review

The Selwyn District Plan Review is currently underway. The review proposes changes in zoning and in the rules that apply to properties in the Selwyn District.  These changes have the potential to have a significant impact on what some land in the District can be used for.

It is important that you identify whether your property or adjoining properties will be affected by these changes, and that, if affected, you protect your property rights and values by submitting on the Proposed Plan.

Some of the changes that may impact on you and your property include:

  • The new plan is ‘activities based’, unlike the current ‘effects based’ plan. While this approach gives more certainty on what can and can’t be done on a site, in some cases it can result in a more restrictive approach by Council, that may limit future options for your land.
  • Site density – The Council proposes to reduce the site density allowed in some parts of the District. This means that some existing opportunity for subdivision may be lost through this process.  Reductions relate to sites in the Malvern Hills area, Inner Plains Banks Peninsula ONL areas, Port Hills Lower Slopes ONL areas, Port Hills Upper Slopes VAL above 60m, among others.
  • Rural Business  – The proposed rules will make it harder for non-rural related activities to set up in rural areas. Should you be planning to establish a business in the rural zones in the future then you need to submit on this plan.
  • Rolleston Transitional Precinct – The plan proposes to enable commercial development over time, which has the potential to have a significant impact on existing residential properties in this zone.
  • Home Business – There is proposed to be a reduction in the size of new home businesses permitted in the residential zone.  If you have been thinking about developing a home business, now is the time to submit.
  • Hours of operation – Restrictions are proposed on rural home business opening hours.
  • Storage related to residential home business – a new rule is proposed requiring storage within buildings only
  • Natural hazards have been identified.   For some sites at risk of flooding, new floor heights are proposed for new buildings.
  • Coastal hazards – new rules are included relating to coastal hazards such as coastal inundation and coastal erosion
  • Wildfire – new rules are included as to how wildfire hazard will be managed. These include setbacks for woodlots and shelterbelts, and inclusion of assessment related to fire hazard effects of landscaping where new vegetation planting is proposed for a new dwelling that requires a resource consent.
  • Outstanding Natural Landscapes or Visual Amenity Landscapes – these areas will be increased, and hence some increased restrictions on earthworks,  shelterbelts, vineyards, orchards etc will occur. These have potential to have significant effects on property opportunities.  Those people with property subject to the new Outstanding Natural Landscape or Visual Amenity Landscape rules should carefully consider the implications of the proposals on their land and submit accordingly.
  • Indigenous Vegetation Clearance – the rules for this will change. This may have an impact some normal farming activities.
  • Sky Glow – new rules are proposed that limit some lighting under certain circumstances to protect the night sky.  These include a need for residential security lights to be motion activated.
  • Rezoning – some areas of land in the District have been proposed to be rezoned.   Some of these may have effects on adjoining properties, and its important to take this opportunity to have your say and influence outcomes. Alternatively, you may wish to seek to have your land rezoned as part of this District Plan review. Talk to our staff if you wish to have your land included in the District Plan review.
  • Family Flats – the new rules will allow anyone to live in such a unit; not just family members. In the General Rural zone, the size permitted will increase to 90m2.  Talk to us to discuss your options.
  • Signage – Proposed rules relate to ‘off-site’ signs such as trailer mounted signs, and more specific controls on temporary signs. New rules are also proposed for signage with changing/flashing digital or LED displays.
  • Noise – a range of new rules are proposed, including a new rule to manage noise from frost fans, and the removal of exemptions.

The above list is only a brief summary of the rules proposed.  Many more are also proposed and have the potential to either enhance or restrict the ability of you or your neighbours to develop and use land.   Its important to submit on matters that may affect you, and a submission allows you to be part of the process and allows you the opportunity to appeal  further through the plan change process if a decision is made that you dont agree with.    While initial submissions need only be relatively brief, a well thought out submission has a greater chance of being successful. Our staff are experienced in advising people through the plan chance process, and can assist you to prepare a submission in a very cost effective manner. Please give us a call, email or use our contact form to discuss your concerns with the Proposed District Plan in more detail.  Submissions close on the 11th December at 5pm.