Trial of after-hours planning service

An after-hours planning service will be trialled by the Queenstown Lakes District Council for two months, with the aim of helping people who cannot access planning advice during normal working hours.

Resource consenting manager Blair Devlin said from tomorrow a resource consent planner would work the ''late shift'' every Wednesday evening, providing planning information and assistance for those who were not able to raise their planning issues or queries during the day.

Mr Devlin said the idea came about when it was realised some people had difficulty taking time off to get the advice they needed before applying for resource consents.

The free service is being trialled to assess demand, and appointments will be able to be made to discuss all resource consenting issues, including home projects, tourism and business ventures, temporary events and the requirements to register holiday homes as short-term visitor accommodation.

The After Hours Planning Clinic would provide valuable assistance and result in ''more robust'' planning applications, which could be processed more efficiently, saving time and costs for customers, Mr Devlin said.

Planner David Wallace would be available between 5pm and 9pm on Wednesdays, by appointment only.

Those who could not come to the council's offices could make an appointment to talk to Mr Wallace by phone during these hours.