In my last 2 blogs, I write about how much time delay and money a planning permit can add to your building project. But also, what implications this can have on your design.
I mentioned designing your home around the planning regulations, in order to avoid going to council for a planning permit. And the importance of getting a written confirmation that no permit is needed.
Today I want to tell you about the process we went through for our new energy efficient double storey home in Mount Albert North and the things we had to do to avoid the need for a planning permit.
The site is located within a Neighbourhood Residential Zone, Schedule 3. And has a Significant Landscape Overlay and a Vegetation Protection Overlay.
There were many parameters we had to work with when we started the design:
The main thing was we had to stay a minimum of 4 meters away from any significant tree. Where any tree larger than 5m in height and having a single trunk circumference of 1.0 metre or more was considered significant. We also had stricter regulations when it comes to a setback, site coverage and so on. I will list the full list of restrictions at the end of this blog.
Here is a screenshot from the survey plan.
There is a huge gumtree in the front garden of the existing house. So we knew we had to stay 4 metres away from it.
There was also a tree just in front of the existing house. It was actually more of a shrub. It used to be pruned back to about 2 metres. But now had branches shooting up as high as 5m. Which means, on our first survey plan this tree showed as 5m. Which meant, we would either need to stay 4m away from it or would need a planning permit to remove it.
But as the pruning of a tree is allowed, we did get it cut back to the original prune mark. And then got the survey plan updated. Meaning now, that the tree is only 2m tall, we can remove it without a permit.
We got started with our design. Made sure all was within the required parameters and send the plans off to council to get a confirmation that no permit is need.
However, 2 weeks later we got a letter back stating that a planning permit is required. We called the council and it turned out that our new driveway, which is within 4 metres of the existing tree, was triggering the need for a planning permit for our double storey home.
After a few discussions with the client, we decided to keep the existing driveway as is, amended our plans accordingly. And send the plans off to council again. Although by doing this we had to pay another $100 ish for this application. But we get a written confirmation that no permit is needed.
Once the house is built, we can put in a permit with the council for the new driveway. This application will only take a few weeks to get approved, won’t need to go to advertising and hence, will also be a fraction of the time a planning permit for the house would have needed.
Happy clients and we can go straight to the building permit.
Here a list of the things we had to comply with.
Neighbourhood Residential Zone:
- Site coverage: Maximum 40%
- Permeability: Minimum 40%
- Site and Rear Setback:
A new building not on or within 200mm of a boundary should be setback from side boundaries 1 metre and 5 metres from the rear boundary, plus 0.3 metres for every height over 3.6 metres up to 6.9 metres, plus 1 metre for every metre over 6.9 metres. (in short: stricter regulations as usual)
We were also required to have larger private open space than usual but given that we were doing only a single residence, this was not an issue.
Schedule to Vegetation Protection Overlay
- A permit is required to remove, destroy or lop vegetation having a single trunk circumference of 1.0 metre or more at a height of one metre above ground level.
Schedule to Significant Landscape Overlay
- A permit is required to construct a front fence that is within 4 metres of any vegetation that requires a permit to remove, destroy or lop under the provisions of this schedule. This does not apply to the like-for-like replacement of a front fence to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.
- A permit is not required to construct a building or carry out works provided the building or works are set back at least 4 metres from the base of any tree protected under the provisions of this schedule.
A permit is required to remove, destroy or lop a tree.
This does not apply to:
- A tree less than 5m in height and having a single trunk circumference of 1.0 metre or less at a height of one metre above ground level; or
- The pruning of a tree for regeneration or ornamental shaping; or
- A tree which is dead or dying