Countryside Living & Transferable Development Right Subdivision

Written by Myles Goodwin – Rural Subdivision Expert | Planning & Environmental Director – Cato Bolam Consultants

Countryside Living zones are zones on the outskirts of Auckland where provision is made for rural living on small blocks, typically between 1ha and 5ha, depending on the area. Council’s preference is to see rural living concentrated in the Countryside Living zones rather than scattered through the rural production zones. In the south of Auckland these zones are mainly around Clevedon, Whitford, Runciman and Papakura, while to the north Taupaki, Swanson, Coatesville, Redvale, Warkworth, Helensville and Wellsford all have significant Countryside Living zones.

The key to working out the number of new titles a site can subdivide into is knowing the zone and precinct overlay.

The default subdivision size in the Countryside Living zone is a 2ha site size, so in many places, a 4ha title can subdivide into two 2ha titles. However, over much of the zone, precinct overlays or subdivision variation controls impact on site size. This is especially the case in South Auckland, where various precinct overlays all alter the subdivision site size depending on the location of the property. For example, in the Papakura Countryside Living zone, subdivision to a 1ha site size is possible, but in the Whitford B precinct, it is one new title per 5ha of the larger existing site, so a 10ha title is the smallest that can subdivide. In some of the precincts, additional subdivision rights are available if certain areas of planting are undertaken. Things are simpler in northern Auckland, where, with minor exceptions, there are almost no precincts. However, in the north there are variation controls that affect other aspects of subdivision, principally the ability to use Transferrable Development Rights (TDR). The TDR variation control covers most of the northern Countryside Living zones.

waymau lane estate main - Countryside Living & Transferable Development Right Subdivision
Waymau Estate, Coatesville: 15 Lot Countryside Living Subdivision. 15 x 1ha sites created using transferrable development rights (TDR).

In most Countryside Living zones in the north of Auckland a TDR can be used to subdivide a 2ha title into two 1ha titles, whereas without a TDR, 2ha is generally the smallest site size possible. However, apart from very limited use in one of the Runciman precincts, TDR cannot be used in south Auckland.

A TDR is generated by protecting bush or wetland, planting bush, or amalgamating titles on prime or elite soils on the Rural zoned land.   Rather than the title being created in the rural area, as could occur, an option exists to transfer that right to subdivide into the Countryside Living zone.  The TDR is sold by the Rural landowner to the Countryside Living landowner who uses it to create additional subdivision sites based on the rules for their location.  The objective of the TDR rules is to keep the rural areas rural and encourage Countryside Living development in areas close to the city where good infrastructure exists, and often where rural production is already compromised by smaller lots.

The use of TDRs generally makes for a very economically worthwhile subdivision.  Cato Bolam have created several hundred new titles in the Countryside living zones using transferrable titles, we are experienced and proven in delivering results for landowners in what can be a complicated process.

Myles Goodwin and the Cato Bolam team provide start to end subdivision services including planning, surveying, engineering, architecture and environmental.

Contact Myles for an obligation free discussion via


Mobile: 0274933022

Phone: 09 427 0072

kaipara - Countryside Living & Transferable Development Right Subdivision
Transferable development rights (TDR) are generated by protecting native bush or wetland, planting bush, or amalgamating titles on prime or elite soils on Rural zoned land