It’s one of the ancient truths of planning – you can solve a lot of problems by some carefully placed plants.
Does your development overlook a neighbour? Some pittosporum on the boundary could screen that neighbour! Is your garage within a front yard? A rewarewa tree could soften those dominance effects! Need to remove some trees to establish a new dwelling? You get the idea.
Hyperbole aside, it is still pretty incredible how planting can save the day. Perhaps this speaks to our romantic relationship with nature in New Zealand, and the healing role that tree planting has in redressing the ills of development. Whatever the case, the Resource Management Act specifically enables “adverse effects” to be “mitigated” by methods such as planting – and in practical terms that planting can be a reason why Council decides to grant resource consent for a development. Indeed, we often see cases where some thoughtful landscaping gets a development across the line.
It is also worthwhile noting that planting is a relatively inexpensive form of mitigation for achieving a desired development outcome. If your proposed dwelling is located closer than allowed to a neighbour’s boundary and the Council raises concerns about visual dominance effects to that neighbour, then the only other practical ways to mitigate those effects may be to change the dwelling design, or move the dwelling further back from the boundary. Planting starts to look pretty cheap by comparison.
To summarise our thinking then, planting is a highly effective ingredient in the recipe for a successful development, and the importance of planting is only likely to grow (pun definitely intended) as Auckland develops in the future.
If you would like more information about what landscaping services Thomas Consultants can provide for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide landscape design, landscape ecology services, and more.