• Resource consents and planning

14 Jun 2024

land plot with nature landscape location pin 2

Council’s resource consents team has prepared a practice and guidance note on the application of the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land 2022 (NPS-HPL) when subdividing in the Southland District.

The NPS-HPL aims to protect highly productive land for land-based primary production, both now and for future generations. To achieve this it does a number of things including mandating the mapping and identification of highly productive land, and requires avoidance of subdivision of highly productive land except under specific circumstances.

The Council’s practice and guidance note covers:

  1. the use of specific Land Use Capability (LUC) reports – the note confirms that until Environment Southland and Council have mapped highly productive land in the Regional Policy Statement and Southland District Plan (SDP), that a definition of highly productive land based on LUC classes 1-3 (under the New Zealand Land Resource Inventory) within the General Rural Zone will apply. A site-specific report does not override the NPS-HPL, however it can be of value, and may be necessary, to support a subdivision consent application
  2. permitted baseline application - it's noted that the permitted baseline is unlikely to be applicable to subdivision applications under the SDP
  3. receiving environment considerations - while the receiving environment must be considered for subdivision consent applications, a precautionary approach should be taken when considering the likelihood of change to the environment due to permitted activities and their effects on highly productive land.

The practice and guidance note should be considered alongside the NPS-HPL and its implementation guide, the SDP, and any relevant legal advice. For further information and clarification, please contact the Council’s resource consents team.

Download the practice guidance note

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