District Plan Frequently Asked Questions

What is a District Plan?

A District Plan manages landuse and subdivision activities in the District, controlling what activities are allowed and where. District Plan's also controls the scale, form and intensity of development, along with noise, natural habitats, heritage buildings and natural hazards. Therefore the District Plan has a big impact on our future environment. If you want to know if you can construct a new building, carry out a new activity, or subdivide, the District Plan is the place to look. District Plan's are not financial plans, like Council's Long Term or Annual Plans and don't deal with Regional Plan matters (e.g. water takes or discharges).

How do District Plan's Work?

District Plan's normally set out the issues with development in the district and then provides objectives, policies and methods (including rules) to address the issue. Rules are a regulation and state if consent is required or not required for a certain activity. District Plan's also include standards for development e.g. building height limit. District Plan's classify activities into six different types:

  • Permitted Activity: Can be carried out without resource consent.
  • Controlled Activity: Consent required, but has to be granted. Council can only impose conditions in respect to certain matters listed in the District Plan.
  • Restricted Discretionary Activity: Consent required and can be granted/refused. Consent can only be refused (or conditions imposed) in respect of certain matters listed by the District Plan.
  • Discretionary Activity: Consent required and can be granted/refused. All relevant matters can be considered and any relevant conditions imposed.
  • Non-Complying Activity: Consent required and can be granted/refused. All relevant matters can be considered. These activities are not contemplated in the zone.
  • Prohibited Activity: Cannot occur as of right or by way of resource consent.

If compliance with all relevant performance standards and general rules cannot be achieved, the status of the activity will normally change. General rules are rules that apply throughout the district, like rules that address parking, access, landscaping etc.

What are zones?

Land use zones are areas that are subject to a specific suite of District Plan provisions. For instance, the Residential 1 Zone in the District Plan contains objectives, policies and rules that address the issues in suburban areas of the district.

What is a resource consent?

Resource consent is required for any activity that contravenes a rule in a District Plan. If approved, the resource consent authorises the activity. Resource consent can either be processed on a non-notified (no public involvement), limited notified (neighbours can make a submission), or publicly notified basis (public can make a submission). Submitters have a subsequent right to appeal.

Additional information sources

See www.timaru.govt.nz/dpr or www.mfe.govt.nz for more information, or try our Duty Planner on 03 687 7271.