Council looks to relax rules around minor dwelling units

The Hurunui District Council is looking to make it easier to erect a second dwelling on a single rural lot, where specific conditions are met.

The Council is proposing a change to the District Plan which would remove the need to seek resource consent for a minor dwelling unit or MDU on a rural property.

Minor dwelling units are self contained residential buildings located on the same site as an existing dwelling unit, whose use is secondary to the existing dwelling.

They must be located no more than 30m from the main dwelling, use the same aces sway, and not exceed 75m2 in gross floor area, excluding any garage and carport.

Environmental Services Manager, Judith Batchelor, says currently a small dwelling on any site is treated no differently to any other dwelling house under the District Plan, which means anyone wanting to establish a smaller unit for dependent family members on sites less than 10ha (in the General Management Area) has had to apply for a non-complying resource consent.

“This does not appropriately cater for smaller units to be erected on the same site as a main dwelling, where the use of the smaller unit complements the main dwelling, for example, for occupation by a dependent family member.

“This has lead to frustrations for a number of landowners wanting to build a secondary minor dwelling on their property, generally for an elderly relative, which we accept have some validity.”

Judith Batchelor says given the minor environmental effects of such units the Council sees merit in relaxing the rules provided specific site and size conditions are met.

“The secondary unit does not generally have the same impact as the first on amenity, including such things as additional traffic movements because they share the same driveway, are usually small, and in close proximity to the main dwelling.”

Proposed Plan Change 27 will be advertised next month and the community will have an opportunity to lodge submissions until the end of January.

For further information contact:

Judith Batchelor

Environmental Services Manager

Hurunui District Council

03 314 0102