In these post “Grand Designs” times, we tend to accept that we’ll encounter some disasters along the way with our renovation. The budget could blow out, the weather might delay completion, or perhaps we might uncover an ancient evil when digging in the basement. And then of course, there is Council.
Renovations and the Unitary Plan
Now, many will argue that Council is an unpredictable beast. As land development practitioners we cannot disagree, particularly when it comes to applying for a resource consent, where Council has the discretion to approve or refuse. However, for most renovation projects there is an opportunity to reduce risk and uncertainty by addressing some key Unitary Plan rules:
1. Building, impervious, landscaping coverage – if you will be increasing the footprint of your dwelling (e.g. you are adding a bedroom extension) or constructing new paved areas (e.g. driveways, patios, paths), you will need to understand the maximum building/impervious and minimum landscaping coverage requirements.
2. Height and height in relation to boundary – if your renovation will alter the three dimensional space of your building, you will need to consider the maximum height limits for the zone and how the building is set back from site boundaries relative to its height.
3. Yards – buildings are required to be setback from site boundaries by minimum distances, that vary from zone to zone
4. Outdoor and outlook space – there are also minimum requirements for the amount of outdoor space (lawn/patios/balconies) your dwelling has, and for minimum viewing distances from your living and bedroom windows.
5. Fences – need to construct or replace a fence? Don’t forget there are height limits for fences too, which vary from zone to zone.
6. Carparking – many zones still have minimum carparking space requirements, so if you are thinking about converting an existing garage to a bedroom, you’ll need to find another location for your car.
Avoiding a Resource Consent
A renovation that complies with these requirements will generally avoid the need for a resource consent. However, if the renovation of your dreams requires you to break some of these rules or you just want a bit further clarification on the above points, we’d advise you come talk to us as soon as possible.
We can manage the risks and uncertainties to your project via smart design and robust assessment, to ensure your project has the best chances of getting your resource consent.
Not too sure what we can do about that ancient evil in your basement though…
Contact us today
To get your renovation or land development project underway please contact us today to speak to one of our experienced Planners.