What is an SEA?
Under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan some areas have been designated as “Significant Ecological Areas” or SEAs. These areas have been identified as meeting one of the 5 key ecologically important criteria, which are:
- Threat status and rarity
- Stepping stones, migration pathways and buffers
- Uniqueness or distinctiveness
By identifying these areas as SEAs the Auckland Council aims to protect and maintain indigenous biodiversity within the Auckland Region.
How does having an SEA affect me?
The rules in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan that relate to SEAs are now operative. This means that within an SEA most (but not all) vegetation alternation or removal work will require resource consent. Activities that you are allowed to do within an SEA without resource consent are:
- Biosecurity tree work
- Deadwood removal
- Vegetation alternation or removal for routine maintenance and repair of existing tracks, lawns, gardens, fences and other lawfully established activities.
- Vegetation alteration or removal for customary use
- Emergency tree works
- Pest plant removal
- Conservation planting
- Vegetation alteration or removal for routine maintenance within 3m of the existing dwelling
- Vegetation alteration or removal for routine maintenance within 3m of existing buildings greater than 100m2 GFA.
If you want to carry out vegetation alterations or removals within an SEA that do not fit any of the criteria above, you will need to apply for resource consent. As part of the application you will need to provide an ecological impact assessment that outlines which trees are to be removed and how this will impact the ecology of the site.
How can TCEC help?
TCEC have a team of experienced planners and ecologists that manage the application process and provide you with an ecological impact assessment to submit to council as part of your application.[/text_output]