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Unitary Plan Update – November 2016

Home Insights Unitary Plan Update – November 2016

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Contributed by: Allison Arthur-Young, Bal Matheson and Bronwyn Carruthers

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Published on: November 04, 2016

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On 4 November 2016 Auckland Council released an annotated version of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan – Decisions Version that identifies which parts of the Plan are subject to appeal. The annotated Plan can be found here.

The Unitary Plan provisions that are subject to appeal are identified with a bold line down the left margin, with text identifying the relevant appeal. Annotated mapping has also been produced, showing the zoning, precincts and overlays that are subject to challenge.

Any rule in the Unitary Plan that is not subject to appeal can now be “treated as operative” under section 86F of the Resource Management Act 1991 and any corresponding rule from a legacy plan can be “treated as inoperative”. This means that the Unitary Plan is now the only plan that contains planning rules for much of Auckland.

From our review of the annotated version, the Council appears to have taken a conservative approach, particularly in respect of the Unitary Plan’s coastal chapter, which has been largely identified as subject to appeal. However, while the annotated version provides a good indication of the rules that are to be “treated as operative”, it provides only the Council’s view. Whether or not a provision is able to be “treated as operative” is a legal question for decision makers to determine, on a case-by-case basis.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this could affect your projects or business.


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The publication is intended only to provide a brief summary of the subjects covered. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such without first obtaining specific professional advice based on your unique circumstances.

Russell McVeagh has New Zealand's longest established and most experienced environmental and resource management practice.

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