Illegal earthworks raise concerns
12 November, 2019
- The District Plan definition of ‘earthworks’ does not include the digging of holes for posts, or the planting of trees, or the cultivation of land normally associated with farming activities. These activities can usually take place without a resource consent.
- In the Rural zone, permitted earthworks are limited to the maintenance of existing tracks, irrigation infrastructure, yards, fence-lines and roads.
- The only new earthworks that are permitted in the Rural zone are earthworks that are under 50m2 in area and are not in an environmentally or ecologically sensitive area. Earthworks which exceed 50m2 in area or 100m3 in volume require a resource consent before any work is carried out.
- If the earthworks are in an environmentally or ecologically sensitive area including (but not limited to) areas identified on the Planning maps as: an outstanding or significant natural feature, an outstanding natural landscape, or a significant coastal landscape, any amount of earthworks will require a resource consent.
- All earthworks within 20 metres of any lake, stream or wetland, or within any wetland will require a resource consent.
- An existing track has become deeply rutted and affected by under-runners. It needs to be made safe to use for farm vehicles and stock. The maintenance of existing tracks is a permitted activity.
- Using a tractor mounted ripper and pipe layer you want to pull in a new water line to get water to stock on the other side of the farm a few hundred metres away. If there is no trenching or land disturbance involved, the earthworks rules won’t apply.
- You need to use machinery to clear gorse and broom from a hill block and need to get down to the roots to make sure it doesn’t come back. Clearing gorse and broom is not considered to be earthworks.
- You are developing a farm into a cropping operation, but in one of the paddocks there is a rocky outcrop just above ground level and about 60m2 in area. It will damage your gear so you want to excavate the rock below ground and then cover it in topsoil. You might be able to use the rock elsewhere on the farm. This breaches the earthworks rules so you will need to contact Council.
- There is a narrow track on the side of a hill which can only be used by motorbikes, but you need it to be wide enough to take the tractor down. This would mean cutting the track about twice its current width. This goes beyond maintenance of an existing track and a consent will be required for the work.
- You are installing a new irrigator and have the water related consents in place through the Regional Council. You now need to lay the new pipe in a trench 1metre wide, 1metre deep and 150 metres in length. In this case the work is not associated with maintenance of existing irrigation infrastructure and also exceeds the permitted volume of earthworks. A resource consent will be required.
Page reviewed: 13 Nov 2019 9:26am