Development near the National Grid

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What are the issues?

How do we manage these issues?

What are Subdivision Corridors?

What are National Grid Yards?

What else do I need to know about?

Where can I get more information?

Development near National Grid lines (including poles and towers) can have unwanted and unintended effects on the lines and conversely, the National Grid lines can also affect how development takes place.

If you are wanting to develop your property and there are National Grid lines directly overhead or nearby, it is important that you get in contact with us to discuss your plans.  Email Us for advice

What are the Issues?

Incompatible activities and land uses must be set back from National Grid lines to avoid compromising  their ongoing operation, maintenance, upgrading and development,  or the safety of those living, or working around them.

Electrical and physical hazards due to incompatible activities can result in faults or power outages which have flow on effects for the security of the network. These can be inconvenient and expensive not only to Transpower, but to consumers.  The main issues are:

  • Underbuild;
  • Blocking off access to support structures;
  • Earthworks undermining the integrity of National Grid support structures (towers, poles);
  • Risks of electrical hazard;
  • Noise and visual effects;
  • Inconvenience to landowners, neighbours and the public.

How do we manage these issues?

To address these issues, we use National Grid Yards and Subdivision Corridors to describe areas around our transmission lines where you need to take care. This approach is consistent with the National Policy Statement on Electricity Transmission 2008. Your council might describe these areas in other ways, like: buffer or transmission corridor setbacks, but they all refer to the same need to restrict incompatible activities or inappropriate development round our lines.

What are Subdivision Corridors?

The National Grid Subdivision Corridor is the area where Transpower needs to be involved in the design and layout of a subdivision (and its subsequent land use).  It is the area up to 37 m either side of the centreline of a transmission line.  This is the general extent of the area where the conductors (wires) are physically present - as the lines can swing out this far in high wind conditions.  The size of the corridor differs depending on the voltage and type of support structure.


What can I do in the National Grid Subdivision Corridor?

Subdivision is an opportunity to design new development in a manner that takes the lines into account – including ensuring allotments are of a size that can be safely developed.  Many activities, including residential buildings can occur within the Subdivision Corridor, provided they are set back from the National Grid Yard. 

What are National Grid Yards?

Within the National Grid Subdivision Corridor is a narrower National Grid Yard.  The National Grid Yard is the area beneath, and immediately next to, National Grid lines (including their support structures). 

It is a 12m setback either side of the centreline of a National Grid line and 12m in any direction from the outer edge of a National Grid line structure. This is reduced to a 10m setback where the line is a single pole line, although the distances from the structures remain the same.

What can I do in the National Grid Yard?

Transpower seeks to keep the National Grid Yard free of buildings and structures and to manage land use and activities that could pose a risk to your safety or to the safe and efficient operation of the National Grid.  What can (and can’t) be established within the yard depends on where your site is located. Existing activities within the yard can continue as is.

In any location (urban or rural), Transpower will not support any new or extended sensitive activities within the National Grid Yard. In many situations it is possible to design around National Grid lines and land within the yard can be utilised for other activities.

If you wish to establish a new building or structure, subdivide, or substantially change land uses within the National Grid Corridor or Yard, please get in contact with Transpower to discuss your proposal as soon as possible. 

Sensitive Activities

These are activities that are more likely to be affected by National Grid lines relative to other activities, and include residential dwellings, educational facilities and healthcare facilities. Local planning rules may define other sensitive activities.

What else do I need to know about?

In addition to our National Grid Yard and Subdivision Corridors, there are also a number of important regulations that contain mandatory requirements and safe separation distances for development near existing National Grid lines. 

Where can I get more information?

Our Development Guide provides useful information on the issues relevant to developing near National Grid Lines.  You can download the document either in its entirety or in relation to the sort of development you may be considering:


The Development Guide (full document)
Chapter 2 - What are the issues [ pdf 2.9 MB ]
Chapter 3 - National Grid Yards and Subdivision Corridors [ pdf 871.9 KB ]
Chapter 4 - Small-scale residential development [ pdf 1.17 MB ]

Chapter 5 - Large-scale residential development [ pdf 1.77 MB ]

Chapter 6 - Large-scale redevelopment (brownfield) [ pdf 574.86 KB ]
Chapter 7 - Commercial and industrial development [ pdf 1.44 MB ]
Chapter 8 - Open space and recreation [ pdf 1.46 MB ]
Chapter 9 - Rural and forestry land use [ pdf 1.62 MB ]
Chapter 10 - Planting near the national grid [ pdf 1 MB ]