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District Plan Review - Draft Plan Change 53

Rural Environment

Rural landscapes and pastoral farmland are significant in our district for our local economy. Maintaining and protecting the productive capacity of rural land and is an important driver in planning for the future. One of the biggest threat to the future of farming is the subdivision of land to a size that is unsuitable for productive activities.

Lifestyle blocks are popular for their rural setting, privacy and space. The identification of suitable locations for future lifestyle blocks will minimise their effects on farming activities.

Earthworks play an essential role in farming activities and are expected to occur in the rural environment. Large-scale earthworks will be controlled as they have a potential impact on the character of the rural environment.

Renewable energy generation has national and local benefits. But these activities can also generate effects. There needs to be a balance to ensure that renewable energy generation is encouraged, while adverse effects are managed.

What are the proposed changes?

Split rural areas into two zones to enable manage production issues and rural lifestyle blocks more easily.

  1. The Rural Zone will provide guidance for the majority of the District’s rural environment.
  2. The Rural Lifestyle Zone will identify specific locations suited to lifestyle blocks.

New resource management objectives and policies for Rural Zone and the Rural Lifestyle Zone will be introduced to:

  • Safeguard the productive potential of the District’s rural land while allowing for the land to be used for rural primary production activities
  • Maintain the character and amenity values of the rural environment
  • Provide for lifestyle subdivision and development in areas that can absorb lifestyle-scale development
  • Recognise the benefits of renewable energy generation while ensuring associated adverse effects are avoided, remedied or mitigated
  • Enable earthworks where their adverse effects on rural character and amenity values can be managed and where sites of cultural, historical, ecological or landscape significance are protected.
Proposed changes to the District Plan are:

Rural Zone

  • Require a 25ha minimum site size in the Rural Zone
  • Allow for earthworks that do not alter the existing ground level greater than 1.5m
  • Allow up to 1000m3 excluding earthworks essential to rural primary production activities such as cultivation and maintaining farm tracks and fences
  • Allow small wind turbines that produce up to 20kW of electricity per site and do not exceed 20m in height
  • Allow other renewable energy generation if it can comply with the standards for buildings and structures in the relevant zone.

Rural Lifestyle Zone

  • Provide a new Rural Lifestyle Zone and for lifestyle block development in five specific locations – Colyton, Halcombe, Hiwinui, Sanson and Pohangina
  • Reduction in the areas identified for Lifestyle block development and the deletion of the existing nodal overlay areas at Taikorea, Rongotea, Utuwai, Cheltenham, Kimbolton, Glen Oroua, Apiti, Rangiwahia and Waituna West
  • Require a minimum lot size of 5000m2 for Colyton, Halcombe, Hiwinui, and Sanson and a minimum lot size of 1.5ha for Pohangina
  • Allow for earthworks up to 5000m3 in the Rural Lifestyle Zone

What areas are affected by the changes?

Click the following links to view a map showing the zone locations for the following towns:

Want to know more?

Click the following links to view the proposed changes to the District Plan:

To discuss how the Draft Plan Change 53 - Rural Environment may affect you, contact either:
Cynthia Ward Senior Policy Planner - E: cynthia.ward@mdc.govt.nz - P: 06 323 0000
Deborah Kissick Consultant, Perception Planning - E: deborah@perceptionplanning.co.nz - P: 07 378 8105

Submissions are now closed