Help is at hand for those who want to build in the rural areas of New Plymouth District.
The Council has released design guidelines for rural subdivision and development. The guidelines provide comprehensive information on the variety of land types, how to work with the landscape, what to consider when planning a building's location and appearance, and the best ways to plan for landscaping, vegetation and servicing.
Consideration to other unique features in the rural area, such as the coastal environment, is also given.
"This is a really handy guide for helping people get the home or development they want in a way that benefits the immediate rural environment," says Acting Manager Environmental Strategy and Policy Juliet Hickford.
"The time to have a look at these design guidelines is right at the start, before any design planning has begun, as they will help owners avoid environmental pitfalls and suggest possibilities they might not otherwise have thought of."
The guidelines draw on public feedback received during a review of the use of rural land in the district, with input from designers and developers who have experience working in the local landscape.
"It is possible for people to get the home that they want and to also retain the open nature of our rural landscapes for future generations to enjoy," says Ms Hickford.
The guidelines are not enforceable, but encourage people to think of the long-term effects on the rural landscape. "What we want to do is encourage owners to consider the wider environmental aspect of their project.
"We've made that easier to do with these guidelines, which take people step by step through a range of issues that are worth considering before the design work begins."
The design guidelines are available on this website, and at the Civic Centre, and service centres in Bell Block, Waitara and Inglewood.
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