Pathway for Proposed District Plan decided
Council today confirmed that it will go with “Option 4” of those suggested by the Independent Review of the Proposed District Plan (PDP), setting the pathway ahead for the PDP process over the next few years.
Option 4 allows the wealth of submissions from residents and interest groups to be built upon without starting the PDP process anew.
It allows engagement with submitters, including finding alternative resolutions to contentious issues, and is the most cost-effective option. It was the favoured option of several community groups, including business, rural submitters and tangata whenua.
Today’s decision means the PDP will be redrafted over the next few months, taking heed of the suggestions and comments raised in submissions. This will lead to consultation with submitters and workshops in the middle of 2015.
A first draft of the revised PDP is targeted for release in late 2015, followed by formal pre-hearings, a final report and then final hearings.
Environmental Planning Manager Darryl Lew says that since Council made the provisional decision to adopt Option 4 in July, staff had analysed whether the scope of existing submissions was broad enough to allow the PDP to be amended in order to address contentious areas.
“We believe the scope allows us to move forward in a collaborative way with submitters and to also work the recommendations of the Independent Review into the plan.
Council also agreed to extend the timeframes for giving its decisions on the PDP until 29 November 2017. The original PDP notification occurred in November 2012 and expired this month. Given the new process following the Independent Review, an extension was required, which is allowed under the Resource Management Act. There is no penalty for doing so.
A further development which will help enhance the PDP is a submission which Council is making to the Draft Natural Resources Plan being developed by the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Council is keen to see more consistency between the District and Regional Plans, in order to streamline plan contents and the process for consent applicants and, where possible, save money.
The submission will highlight ways in which the two plans can be brought closer in areas such as stormwater management, coastal management, biodiversity, wetlands, plantation forestry and earthworks.
If anyone would like further information, they can email [email protected] or phone Council on (04) 296 4700 or 0800 486 486.
For more information contact Darryl Lew, Environmental Planning Manager, (04) 296 4828.