Panel to reconsider draft decision on plan change

The Central Otago District Council has referred a draft decision on the proposed change to the residential chapter of its district plan back to its hearings panel for further consideration.

The draft decision and recommendations of the hearings panel were considered at a meeting of the Central Otago District Council last month.

In the week before the draft decision was being considered by the council, a new Environment Court decision was released in relation to a matter directly connected to evidence received in support of two submissions. This was in relation to land that comes under the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL), which determines the productivity of the land.

The council laid the matter on the table while the panel invited the two submitters to provide written comment in relation to the Environment Court case by the end of last week.

The hearings panel will then make an updated recommendation, which will go back to the council at its May 29 meeting for a final decision.

The panel first met on May 26 last year to consider the plan change, known as plan change 19, which proposed a complete and comprehensive suite of changes to the way the district’s residential areas and zones are managed under the district plan.

A total of 171 submissions and 76 further submissions were received through the consultation process that began in July 2022.

The Environment Court decision has also had an impact on the Parkburn plan change where applicant Fulton Hogan is trying to get zoning changed in the district plan to develop a residential area where the Parkburn quarry, west of Cromwell, is sited. The hearings panel for that application asked Fulton Hogan whether the recent court decision would impact the application.

Fulton Hogan’s counsel replied it did not think the Environment Court decision had any impact on its application.

The Parkburn decision is not expected until after plan change 19 decision is announced.