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New rules give immediate environmental protection

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan contains rules which apply immediately to safeguard Auckland’s natural environment.

These rules received strong support overall during the engagement on the March 2013 draft of the Auckland Unitary Plan. They are brought into effect by the Resource Management Act, which requires many of the rules relating to environmental or heritage protection to apply when a unitary or district plan is notified.

Property owners and developers looking to carry out works are therefore advised to familiarise themselves with the rules and whether they need a resource consent.

In the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, these rules particularly apply to Significant Ecological Areas (SEAs), heritage, water or air protection, and certain types of earthworks.

The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan identifies 3360 SEAs to protect important vegetation and fauna, covering a total of 80,400 hectares.

Many households have SEAs on their property. In these areas, a consent is required for vegetation alterations or removal although there is a list of exceptions covering maintenance, biosecurity and proximity to existing buildings.

Additionally, rules relating to SEA Marine areas also have immediate effect.

Property owners and developers are advised to check the rules online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/unitaryplan before they do any work that may affect vegetation and fauna. The rules that apply to a property can be found by doing a planning enquiry on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan website.

A series of detailed fact sheets can also be found on the website or you can ask for help from a council planner by calling 3010101.

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