Amenity Indicators (what we measure)
Amenity values are natural or physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contribute to people’s appreciation of its pleasantness, and cultural and recreational values.
Having a safe and healthy environment for living, working and recreation is important for Matamata-Piako residents. This involves maintaining generous access to daylight, sunlight and private open space, especially in urban areas.Amenity values can differ in rural areas to those in urban areas, as people in rural areas commonly both live and work on the land, and can be involved in activities that generate noise, odour, dust and other effects.
The amenity and heritage values of Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha could be adversely affected by unsuitable development. Amenity in rural areas can also be compromised by rural activities that generate noise, odour, dust and other effects.
In general, disturbance to amenity values as a result of legitimate farming activities undertaken in accordance with best practice is acceptable; however in urban areas and near large-scale rural industry, it is expected that any significant negative effects on amenity values will be avoided, remedied or minimised.
The number of resource consent applications to breach Council's development control rules in the District Plan had decreased since 2009/10, but increased again since 2015/16.
In and in 2016/17, 40 of 49 of resource consent applications to breach development controls were for yard encroachments. In 2017/18, it was 39 of 45 of resource consent applications. The other six consent applications were for five applications to encroach upon the height-to-boundary rules and one application to encroach on recreational space requirements. In 2018/2019, the number of resource consent applications to breach development controls have increased to 65. That is a result of the growth that the district is experiencing and the implementation of the Permitted Boundary Activity (PBA) in 2018. The PBA is a process where, if the applicant has written consent from the affect parties, the application is processed in a shorter timeframe. From the 65 applications, 25 were processed as a standard resource consent application and 37 were PBAs applications. The ongoing volume of applications to breach development control rules is in line with the overall increase in the number of building consent applications. Yard areas provide space for outdoor activities and landscaping, and also create a pattern of open space and built up space, which forms the character of the district.
The Council’s Plan Change 47 – Plan Your Town reviewed the sections of the District Plan relating to the planning rules and zoning for each of the district’s largest three towns and the areas around them. Rule changes included a reduction in the building setback distances from some boundaries for residential and rural-residential properties, changes to residential infill subdivision around town centres and identifying likely future urban growth areas. A hearing was held in June 2017 and a decision was notified in April 2018, allowing the plan change to become part-operative.