Subdividing Land

Subdivision is the process of dividing land or buildings for separate ownership. It can be a complex process and it is likely that you will need to seek advice – as well as engage the services – of professionals including a surveyor, accountant, solicitor, real estate agent, architect, valuer and a suitably qualified engineer.

One of the first things you will need to do if you are thinking about subdividing a property is to investigate the subdivision rules in the New Plymouth District Plan.

These rules relate to such things as:

  • Minimum allotment sizes.
  • Whether the property can be or needs to be serviced with roads, water supply, sewerage and stormwater disposal.
  • Whether suitable building platform(s) exist (with no flooding or stability problems).
  • Whether the proposal meets other planning requirements (such as the need for existing buildings to be a minimum distance from the boundary).
  • Whether the proposal creates additional users on a right-of-way.
  • Whether the property is affected by areas or items of value or importance to the community that have been identified on the planning maps.

What are the minimum allotment sizes?

The minimum allotment sizes that you may create through subdivision depend on which environment area the property is located in.

Environment area  Controlled activity  Discretionary activity 
Residential A 450m2 400m2
Residential B 300m2 250m2
Residential C 700m2 650m2
Business A, B and C No minimum n/a
Business D 300m2 250m2
Open space A 500m2 400m2
Open space B and C, or Port Taranaki No minimum n/a
Industrial No minimum n/a

Rural Environment Area - minimum allotment size and maximum number of allotments.

Controlled activity  Restricted discretionary activity  Discretionary activity 
20 hectares. One small allotment (minimum area of 4000m²) provided there is at least a 20 hectare balance remaining.
Minor boundary adjustments.
Up to three small allotments (minimum area of 4000m²) provided there is at least a 20 hectare balance remaining. Up to four small allotments (less than 20 hectares) provided there is at least a four hectare balance remaining.
The number of allotments that can be applied for is calculated from the certificate of title as it existed on 5 March 1999. The balance area remaining must be from the Computer Freehold Register subject to the subdivision.

Note: These sizes do not include the area required to provide access to rear allotments. 

Controlled activities

  • A resource consent is required  for a controlled activity.
  • To be a controlled activity under this plan your activity must meet the “standards and terms – controlled” for all the parameters relevant to your activity.
  • We may place conditions on it.

Restricted discretionary and discretionary activities

  • A resource consent is required for a restricted discretionary or discretionary activity. We may decide to refuse an application or grant it with or without conditions.
  • The assessment criteria are used, in conjunction with the relevant objectives and policies, to decide whether or not to grant the resource consent.
  • For a restricted discretionary activity the Council may grant or refuse an application but must only consider the activity based on matters which it has restricted the exercise of its discretion under the District Plan.

Building on land undergoing subdivision

Generally, building consent applications can't be lodged until the the new certificate of title has been issued.

Accepting building consent applications prior to this stage is problematic because infrastructure (such as water supply and waste disposal), earthworks, ground conditions and other requirements have not yet been finalised or conditions on subdivision consents have not been met.

However, we may accept a building consent application for land where the certificate of title hasn't been issued if certain information requirements are met. These requirements are outlined in the form above. 

Building on land already subdivided

This requires a standard building consent. 

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