Huh, what's the permitted baseline?

April 2023

This quick guide provides insights into why this planning tool is our favourite consenting strategy - the permitted baseline.

The permitted baseline concept fist came out of the Courts and then found its way into the Resource Management Act. It allows councils to disregard or discount adverse effects both for notification and the overall decision.

Accepting the permitted baseline is the call of the processing council, while there is no guarantee, in our experience providing a credible scenario drawing on the permitted controls of a District Plan can usually pass.  

For urban development, when wielded correctly the permitted baseline can explain away density effects (e.g. building bulk, shading, level of activity), reduce notification risk, and streamline planning approval.

The key task is to craft a compelling illustration of how the development proposal is comparable to, or an improvement on, the permitted baseline development scenario (see the example below). 

For more complex projects we work closely with the design team or the architect to produce a credible visual scenario to assist, while for more straightforward projects it may just be a few paragraphs.

Example of a permitted baseline montage and overlay.

To learn more about how we can support your development projects contact us →.

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