Do new rules to multiply density + high residential demand = time to subdivide?

Rebecca Crawford, Bridget Irving

With ever increasing demand for houses, the government is taking steps to increase housing capacity. The Dunedin City Council recently released Variation 2 to the Second-Generation District Plan (2GP) as part of its response to increased housing demand in the City.

Variation 2 encourages higher density development in Dunedin by:

Impacts of rezoning

Property owners who could not previously subdivide because they had a 2-hectare section zoned Rural Residential, when rezoned to Township and Settlement would be able to subdivide their property into five 400 m2 lots.

In the inner suburbs rezoning from General Residential 1 to General residential 2 means a 600 m2 property on Highgate in Roslyn could be subdivided into 2 lots. Even though the changes encourage subdivision, any subdivision still requires obtaining a resource consent from the Council.

Who needs to be told when you apply to subdivide?

When Council considers a resource consent application it makes two decisions:

Generally people will only need to be notified if they are likely to be affected. The people most likely to be affected are your immediate neighbours. If you think that subdividing your site is likely to have even a minor effect on your neighbours, like increasing traffic on your road then you can request their approval for your subdivision. If they give written approval they will not need to be formally notified by the Council as part of the resource consent process. 

If you are going to seek their approval it is important that you provide them with all of the relevant information about the subdivision to avoid conflict down the road.  Provided the public and environment aren’t affected then your consent application can be processed without wider notification. This is the way the majority of consents are processed under the current legislation.

When do the changes take effect?

Variation 2’s changes already form part of the Council’s assessment of subdivision consent applications and will only have a greater effect as time goes on.  Given this it may not be necessary to wait for a Decision on Variation 2 before seeking a subdivision.

Variation 2 provisions that haven’t been submitted on are operative now. However, most of the changes in Variation 2 have been submitted on and will be decided by the Panel. While this is happening any subdivision consent application will need to address both the existing plan and the proposed change. As the Panel progresses through the hearings scheduled later this year, more weight will be given to the changes and less to the existing plan until all submissions have been resolved and the 2GP including Variation 2 is fully operative.

Planning maps for the 2GP Plan with Variation 2 changes can be found at

Have you got a project in mind or would you like to know more about how the upcoming changes in the planning and environmental landscape apply to your specific situation?  Our resource management team is ready to help you navigate this complex area of law and advise you on your options.


Disclaimer: This article is general in nature and is not to be used as a substitute for legal advice. No liability is assumed by Gallaway Cook Allan or individual solicitors at Gallaway Cook Allan regarding any person or organisation relying directly or indirectly on information published on this website. If you need help in relation to any legal matter, we recommend you see a qualified legal professional.

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