At this stage, advice from the council’s Planning Department is helpful to understand any planning restrictions on the site. Additionally, various documents can be requested that provide useful information regarding sites you are considering, and can influence final selection:
- District Plans contain key information regarding zoning rules that may affect the planned development.
- a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report summarises information the council holds on a property. It includes special conditions such as Historic Places listings and also indicates what can be built and any potential hazards. It is important to remember that a LIM is not a guarantee and only contains the information held by the council.
- Property files contain additional information that is not contained in the LIM such as plans and past correspondence.
- the council’s GIS system can be used to show zoning, topography, aerial photos, service locations and other useful information.
- The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan shows what the future zoning of your site may be. The Plan is still to be finalised through the hearings process.
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
LINZ is a government department responsible for land titles. You can request a copy of a Computer Register (Certificate of Title) for a site that proves the ownership of the land and contains information about restrictions that may apply to it. Use it to check for covenants, easements and notices.
PlannerThe District Plan, Regional Plan and Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan may all have an impact on your site. Each one of these documents can be hard to understand, and while Council can help, it is recommended you engage a planner on complicated sites.
A planner can carry out a planning assessment to help you understand the District Plan rules and what impact they have on your site. They can also look at the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and see what may be possible in the future.
A valuation can be useful to understand how much a property is worth and whether the price you are offering is competitive. It might also be needed for mortgage purposes.
Valuers can also give you an indication of what your new property would be worth when it is finished.
Professionals in the following fields can be useful throughout the land selection process. Independent advice on the site’s limitations and possibilities can be obtained from:
- estate agents
- architects/architectural designers
- geotechnical engineers
- finance experts