A specific heritage section in plans often works best, rather than dispersing rules for heritage places throughout the plan. A heritage section should provide:
- Objectives and policies, with explanatory notes and reference to alternative methods as required;
- Clear and precise definitions for terms like 'minor alterations' or 'demolition' if these are being used to distinguish activity statuses;
- Requirements for information to be supplied with applications and further documentation that may be required;
- Criteria for listing heritage places, and ranking arrangements if applicable, including any special methodologies used for assessments. These should be suitably robust, and recognised by the Courts and the planning profession;
- Targeted regulatory controls covering the range of heritage places, buildings, objects, trees, archaeological sites, sites of significance to Māori, and groupings or areas of heritage places. Cross reference controls to activities likely to affect heritage places, such as earthworks and demolition. Be clear that the heritage overlay rules prevail over general and zone rules, unless stated otherwise;
- Consider design guidelines for areas where there are common characteristics to the area and its contextual setting. These must be part of the plan if they are to have legal weight, but can also be effective as a voluntary method complementing regulatory provisions; and
- Make monitoring a consent condition for resource consent applications for heritage places (e.g. photographic documentation before, during and after changes). Require reasonable costs of monitoring to be met by the applicant.