Skip to main content
Flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle
More For information on disruptions to our services and facilities see our facility closures page Learn moreFlooding and Cyclone Gabrielle

Ngā Tūranga me ngā mahere paetuhi

Designations and outline plans

What is a designation?

Designations are areas of land set aside for network utilities or large public works:

  • roads
  • telecommunications facilities
  • schools
  • prisons.

They are also known as 'designated areas' and are identified in chapter K of the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Once a designation is in the plan, the proposed works can be carried out at any time.

The authority responsible does not have to comply with Unitary Plan rules, but they do need to notify us by submitting an outline plan of works.

For more information, visit the Ministry for the Environment website.

What is an outline plan of works?

An outline plan of works lets us know about proposed work on a designated site.

This work should comply with use of the site specified in the designation. For example, building a classroom on a site designated for the Ministry of Education.

If the structure does not comply with the specified use, the requiring authority (for example, Spark or Watercare) will need to get a resource consent from us, rather than follow the outline plan of works process.

Public input on an outline plan of works

There is no opportunity for the public to make submissions on an outline plan of works, except when we publicly notify the initial move to designate a site for a specific use.

What an outline plan of works needs to show

Outline plan of works must generally show:

  • the height, shape and bulk of the work
  • the location on the site
  • the finished contour of the site
  • vehicle access
  • provision for parking
  • proposed landscaping
  • any other matters required to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects.

Apply for an outline plan of works

Apply now

Processing time for an outline plan of works

We need 20 working days to assess an outline plan and may request changes to be made by the requiring authority.

If that authority does not accept the changes, we may appeal to the Environment Court within 15 working days of being notified.

 Related topics



Consider stormwater when building stormwater when buildingIf you are doing any sort of development, one of the factors you need to consider is stormwater. Find out what you need to know about stormwater before you begin.aspxStormwater
Engineering approvals approvalsFind out about different types of engineering approvals, why you might need them and how to apply for one. aspxEngineering
Working on or around trees on or around treesFind out if a tree is protected and if you need to apply for a resource consent before working on, around or underneath trees on your, neighbouring, and council properties.aspxBuilding and consents Resource consents
Development contributions contributionsFind out what development contributions are and the types of projects you may need to pay fees for. Use our tool to estimate your contribution fees.aspxBuilding and consents
What are designations? are designations?A designation is a planning technique used to authorise works and activities by a requiring authority.aspx