Extract value from your rural property with bonus protection lots...while you still can

Landplay, Extract value from your property while you can

Do you have bush, wetlands or waterways on your rural property?  

The recent removal by Waikato District Council of rights to secure bonus lots for protecting significant natural areas on rural properties was a decisive and ominous step in the direction away from incentivising conservation activities on rural properties.  The rationale provided by Waikato District Council in its Decision Report was that such incentives are no longer necessary because the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management now requires landowners to manage areas of high ecological value in relation to waterways and wetlands anyway. 

The current Matamata Piako District Plan provides for the granting of bonus lots on a property in return for the protection of qualifying significant features on that property.  There is however no guarantee this right will endure beyond any future reviews of our District Plan.  Current rules allow for bonus lots for protected areas of one hectare and beyond, including two additional lots for protected areas beyond 15 hectares. 

Legal protection involves registration of a conservation covenant on the title to the property providing for protection in perpetuity and terms of the protection for the area, meaning that the protection measures will endure beyond ownership changes to the property and this will generally be a condition of the resource consent.

Physical protection for the purposes of the resource consent will generally involve fencing the area to ensure it is kept free from livestock.  Pest and weed control measures will also be considered as part of the ongoing management of the area.  A suitably qualified person, such as an ecologist is required to assess the area as worthy of protection in perpetuity, applying various measures in doing so.

You may have already commenced a native planting program on your property or have bush or wetland areas that have not been the subject of protection to date.  If you haven’t started, but are contemplating planting out or otherwise protecting areas of your property, an ecologist can provide valuable advice and guidance to establish the area for subsequent protection.

While the enduring conservation benefits through long-term protection of significant natural areas are an obvious benefit and contribution to future generations of the district, the opportunity to create one or two more residential sites to build on or sell are a bonus and a means to extract additional value from your rural property while you have the chance.

Landplay has partnered with experienced ecologist Henry Whyte, founder of Eco Resto, to work with landowners to take advantage of the current rules before they are phased out.  We can guide you through the process from end to end and facilitate initial assessments, procurement and planting of trees and plants, pest and weed control management plans, preparation of consent applications and all required surveying and planning.

Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you to take advantage of current opportunities to add value to your property.

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Call Matt on 021 417 866 or [email protected]