Written by Imogen Trupinic, Senior Planner at Thomas Consultants
The first step before undertaking works of any kind on your site is to know what you can and cannot do on the site. If you know the development potential and limitations of your property, you can avoid hidden development costs, abatement notices or prosecution by Council. The best way to get all the information you need before you commit to buying a property or starting a development project is to obtain a feasibility report.
What is a feasibility report?
A development feasibility report is provided by our team of experienced planners and provides an overview of your site conditions, features and development potential. The matters covered by feasibility reports includes:
- Any encumbrances listed on the record of title which would affect what can be built on the site;
- The features of the site, such as the topography and whether there are any natural hazards listed on Council GIS (e.g. overland flow paths), and the features of the surrounding environment (e.g. if there has been any similar development on nearby sites);
- The stormwater, wastewater and water supply servicing available for the site;
- The planning history of the site, meaning what has been legally established on the site already;
- Whether the site is listed as contaminated or subject to instability in Council’s records;
- The district plan zone of the site and what this means in terms of building design and activities that are able to be established;
- Any special planning overlay or other controls applicable to the site (e.g. a Significant Ecological overlay for vegetated areas) and what this means for the development potential of the site;
- The subdivision requirements for the site, if you are thinking of subdivision as part of the development;
- Whether there are any geotechnical requirements for development of the site (e.g. consents required for earthworks or groundwater impacts);
- Whether there are any transport requirements for the development of the site (e.g. limitation in the number of vehicle access points allowed for the site);
- Whether there are any other rules and standards in the district plan that might be relevant to the development potential of the site (e.g. noise and vibration, signage);
- Whether there are any proposed plan changes that might increase or restrict the development potential of the site (E.g. Plan Change 78 to the Auckland Unitary plan which impacts;
- The outline for the process involved in implementing the development, including the likely amount of Council fees and what specialists will need to be involved for each stage of the process.
We will also provide suggestions of what type of development or design to move forward with for your project.
Who does a feasibility report help?
A feasibility report is particularly helpful for the following people:
- Property-buyers as it gives them an overview of what they can and cannot undertake on the property that they are considering purchasing. It is often recommended by lawyers that property-buyers obtain a feasibility report at the due diligence phase of the purchase process.
- Property-owners who are considering undertaking a private project on their site (e.g. minor dwelling) as it provides them with an overview of whether they require resource consent for their project and the relevant design constraints.
- Investors/Developers who are considering undertaking a new project on a site (e.g. multi-unit terraced house development) as it indicates what can be successfully approved by Council for the site.
- Real Estate Agents/Property Vendors as it showcases what can be achieved on the site for buyers who are thinking of developing, so it can be an attractive marketing tool.
How do I get a feasibility report?
Speak with one of our experienced planners!
To ensure we provide a feasibility report which is comprehensive enough to cover all your needs, our planners will ask you for the following information:
- The record of title and property file for the property;
- What development you intend to undertake on the site; and
- Whether you have already started undertaking any works on the site.
When talking about what development you intend to achieve on the site, it’s important to have all the details of the development you want to implement clear in your mind. For example, if you are considering achieving a multi-unit residential development on the site, you can tell us the number of units you would like to achieve on the site and their typology (e.g. apartments or standalone houses). Where you haven’t yet decided on the number or typology for your development, we can provide a bulk and location study. This is a design concept plan of the site which provides an indication of what can be achieved on the site, such has how many units. An example is below.
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