22 December 2020

Environmental Planning Newsletter

We all agree that 2020 has been a mixed bag but thank you for your patience as we’ve worked through a variety of challenges, we really appreciate it!  While we don’t know what 2021 will bring, it’s great to see that development continues in our City and we are currently busier than ever. 

Our team of planners, monitoring officers and engineers are looking forward to a well-earned break and we all look forward to working collaboratively with you in the New Year.

From our work whanau to you, put your feet up and Meri Kirihimete!

Plan Change 27 Update

On the 16th November 2020, Council publicly notified three plan changes, including Plan Change 27 – Flooding from intense rainfall, which has legal effect. This means that all Resource and Building Consent applications, where required, must have regard to the proposed objectives, policies and rules from the date of public notification.  

Now that we have had a chance to discuss Plan Change 27 ("PC27") with our community, we wanted to take the time to reiterate a few key messages and summarise several points:
  • The RPS requires that natural hazard risks are reduced over time. This means Council must plan for flood events of a scale that occur, on average, once every 100 years, bearing in mind the effects of projected sea level rise and climate change by 2130.
  • The purpose of PC27 is to give effect to the RPS by ensuring that future land use, subdivision and development is planned to be resilient to flooding from intense rainfall.
  • The Plan Change 27 maps are non-statutory and therefore, we need to rely on the definitions in PC27 to determine whether a property is subject to flooding from intense rainfall. While the maps are a good starting point, the reason they are non-statutory is so that any new development and site-specific information can be considered when assessing consent applications. Council acknowledges there may be areas where this is needed, for example:
    • In areas recently or currently under development, it is possible that the landform has changed since the flood levels were modelled and therefore, the floodable areas may have changed and resource consent may not be required. 
    • Existing retaining walls may be on a site that affect the extent of flooding (e.g. prevent water on the road encroaching onto a building platform).
  • The maps will be updated over time to consider new data and information. However, this will occur over several years and will be undertaken catchment by catchment.
  • If you are making a Building Consent and/or Resource Consent application before the next map update and you suspect the mapping does not represent the ‘real world’ state, you may want to consider providing additional site specific information to Council. Site survey levels and an assessment to demonstrate which floodable area definition (if any) is relevant to your Building and/or Resource Consent application is just one example of information that would be relevant to submit to Council with your application. This can then be considered by the planners and engineers assessing your application to determine whether a Resource Consent application is necessary in addition to your Building Consent and/or whether an additional Resource Consent under PC27 is required along with your subdivision/landuse application.
  • Further information on how we receive and address site specific anomalies will be sent out in the New Year. Remember the PC27 maps are just the first step to identify whether Resource Consent may be necessary and site specific analysis with respect to the definitions in PC27 will ultimately be what determines the need for consent on sites where the accuracy of the maps is in question.
  • It is Council’s intention to have flood levels uploaded to Mapi so that customers can obtain this information directly. This is expected to be available in the new year. In the interim, please email to request a flood level for a particular site.
  • In the Suburban Residential Zone impervious surfaces shall not exceed 70% of the site area as a permitted activity. Impervious surfaces include roofs and their gutters; paved areas including driveways and sealed/compacted metal parking areas; patios; swimming pools; sealed and compacted metal roads; and soil layers engineered to be impervious such as compacted clay.
  • The submission period on the proposed rules has been extended until 5pm 1st February 2021. Submissions can be made online, or by picking up a copy at Council’s customer service centre or the city’s libraries and emailing it to, or by posting to (no stamp required): Manager: City and Infrastructure Planning, Tauranga City Council, Freepost Authority Number 370, Private Bag 12022, Tauranga 3143.
Please see our website for further information on Plan Change 27, including factsheets, FAQs, the Section 32 report and a guideline document for property owners and developers.
Click Here

Christmas break and statutory clock dates reminder

This year the Environmental Planning Team will close at midday on Thursday, 24th December and will re-open again on Tuesday, 5th January 2021.

During this period, you will be able to lodge applications, but they will not be reviewed until we return in the New Year. Just a reminder that the period between and including 20th December and 10th January each year is classified as non-working days with regards to the statutory clock.
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We are currently advertising for a Senior Environmental Planner, follow the link below for more information:
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Past Planning Pānui newsletters are uploaded to Tauranga City Council’s website. Please email for any feedback.

Helpful Links

Resource Management Act 1991
Tauranga City Plan
Quality Planning
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