Coastal Land Hazard Areas
The Western Bay of Plenty District has a range of actual or potential natural hazards that will or may adversely affect human life, property or the natural environment. Areas most at risk to coastal erosion and coastal inundation are the urban areas which adjoin the open coastline such as Waihi Beach (including Bowentown) and Pukehina. Detailed studies have been undertaken along these coastlines and the findings have been reflected in the coastal hazard zoning areas within the District Plan.
Coastal Erosion Areas
What is the coastal erosion area?
This is land that may be susceptible to coastal erosion over the next 100 years.
Where are the coastal erosion areas?
The coastal erosion areas are identified in all urban settlements and rural areas that adjoin the open coastline. The urban settlements are:
- Waihi Beach/Island View/Bowentown
- Pukehina Beach
In urban settlements, these are divided into primary and secondary risk. Primary risk includes
those properties and assets closest to the beach which are the most susceptible to erosion. The area further inland is the Secondary Risk Area which may be susceptible later. In rural areas, the coastal erosion area is the land within 100m of the open coastline.
The coastal erosion areas are shown on the District Plan maps available at your nearest Council office or on Council's website.
Are there any building and subdivision restrictions?
Council has taken steps to avoid or mitigate effects on people, new buildings, and property. All new buildings and external additions to existing buildings require a resource consent before any building work can start. Some buildings are prohibited and resource consent cannot be applied for including any second dwelling (even if a minor dwelling) and accommodation and education facilities for more than four people. Applications for resource consent are treated as Discretionary Activities (Primary Risk) or Restricted Discretionary Activities (Secondary Risk) and are assessed on the following:
- Distance between the proposed building and toe of the foredune. In general terms the further back the better however consideration will be given to existing development on adjacent properties
- Buildings must be relocatable i.e. on piles. Council will not accept concrete slab foundations other than for sheds and garages used for non-habitable purposes
- Details on how the building can be physically relocated off the site particularly where narrow access-ways exist
- Effects of the proposal on existing natural character of the coastal environment.
There are some standard conditions you will be required to meet if a resource consent is approved, including that:
- The building must be able to be relocated off the site and will be relocated further into the site if the toe of the foredune erodes within a pre-determined distance of the building i.e.8m.
- Sufficient access must be maintained so that a building can be relocated
- That an endorsement in accordance with Section 72 of the Building Act 2004 be registered on the Certificate of Title
- That earthworks and removal of vegetation on the property seaward of the dwelling be limited to minor activities like gardening
- That a covenant be registered on the title referring to the above conditions.
Note: Some of these only apply to Primary Risk Area.
How does Section 72 of the Building Act 2004 apply?
The Council must issue a building consent under the Building Act 2004 when the building work won't cause or make worse a hazard situation on the property. The building consent is issued pursuant to section 72 of the Building Act 2004 as a conditional consent whereby a natural hazard has been identified. This notification is registered on the certificate of title (a section 74 notification) and alerts prospective purchasers and other parties interested in the property that the land is subject to a natural hazard and what the natural hazard is.
What does a covenant registered on the property mean?
A land covenant on a title is a type of agreement between the land owner and Council that sets out conditions relating to the use of the land. A covenant will include conditions related to the matters identified in the resource consent. The cost of preparing the covenant will be borne by the consent holder.
Coastal Inundation Areas
What is the coastal inundation areas?
This is land that may be susceptible to flooding from the sea as the result of storm surge and sea level rise over the next 100 years.
Where are the coastal inundation areas?
The coastal inundation areas are identified at Waihi Beach/Island View and Pukehina Beach. The coastal inundation areas are shown on the District Plan Maps available at your nearest Council office or on Council's website.
Are there any building and subdivision restrictions?
Council has taken steps to avoid or mitigate effects on people, new buildings, and property. All new buildings and external additions to existing buildings require a resource consent before any building work can start. Other activities such as earthworks (over 5m), raised gardens, closed board fences, retaining walls and concrete and block walls also require resource consent. No buildings are prohibited.
Applications for resource consent are treated as Restricted Discretionary Activities and are assessed on the following:
- Height of the floor level of the proposed building above the identified flood level.
- Effects of the new building or other activity on the capacity for ponding of water and on natural water flow-paths.
Subdivision is still allowed subject to resource consent as a Discretionary Activity
Is there anything else?
House insurance and lender advisement
Council recommends that you should clearly advise your insurance company and lender of the restrictions applying to your property and prior to commencing any building within the coastal erosion area or coastal inundation area.
Building Act 2004
Along with the District Plan rules associated with natural hazards, the Building Act 2004, also has controls relating to land and buildings within hazard prone areas. Information on known site specific potential natural hazards will be recorded on Councils GIS and provided within all project and Land Information Memoranda (PIMs & LIMs)
For further information on building consent requirements relating to natural hazards make contact with a member of Council's building consents team.
Resource Consent Information
If you do need to obtain resource consent, here are some useful matters to consider.
Please refer to the resource consents fees and charges. If you require a resource consent in the Primary Risk area, the Primary Risk application fee includes legal costs of preparing a covenant. If the application does not proceed or is issued without a condition to register a covenant, a partial refund of the deposit fee will apply.
If you are applying for a Land Use Consent for the Primary Risk Coastal Protection Area, your Solicitors contact details should be provided in your application. This will be required for the registering of a covenant on the title which will refer to the land use consent conditions.
Council's policy is that building should be as far back on a section as practically possible. If the proposed development is proposed to be closer to the foredune than the mean line of existing adjacent development, your application should provide reasons why this is necessary (to get better views is not a justifiable reason) and how the natural character of the existing coastal environment can be maintained. (e.g. planting appropriate screening, painting the building a natural colour that blends in with the environment, erecting a single storey dwelling - low height).
For further information on building consent requirements relating to natural hazards please make contact with a member of Council's building consents team.
Please note: This information has been produced to assist you in understanding planning rules and procedures. It does not contain all District Plan or statutory requirements.