District plan review hearings begin

Tony Avery
Tony Avery
It has taken years of preparation, will take several more to put into practice, and is regarded as critical to the future development of the Queenstown Lakes district.

Today, commissioners will begin hearing some of the 1200 submissions on the district plan review.

Council planning and development general manager Tony Avery said it wanted to run the review as effectively as possible because of the district's rapid growth and the pressure that placed on resources.

‘‘This is the prime planning document that sets the framework for the next 10 years, so it's critical we get it right.

‘‘We want to run the hearings as efficiently as we can, but we also need to make sure that people have an opportunity to be heard.''

On the council side alone, a ‘‘considerable'' team of staff, as well as expert witnesses and lawyers, would be involved, he said.

They had already processed nearly 1200 submissions from individuals, companies and groups, consisting of 846 original submissions and a further 353 commenting on the original submissions after they were publicly notified.

The hearings allow those people and organisations to present their submissions in person, if they wish.

They begin on Monday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel before a panel consisting of Denis Nugent (chairman), Trevor Robinson, Mark St Clair, Yvette Couch-Lewis, Cath Gilmour and Lyal Cocks.

They are expected to continue until November at five locations in Queenstown and Wanaka.

Mr Avery said the commissioners were appointed by the council, but under the Resource Management Act were ‘‘independent to make their own decisions''.

Their work required ‘‘huge'' amounts of reading.‘‘There are folders and folders of material.''The submissions have been divided into 10 ‘‘streams''.

The first consists of the council's opening submission - in which it will summarise what it is aiming to achieve - and the tangata whenua chapter.

Submissions on the second stream - consisting of the strategic direction, urban development and landscape chapters - begin at the Lake Wanaka Centre on Thursday.

Stage two of the review will begin early next year, and is likely to continue for several months.

Full implementation of the new district plan is expected to take several years.


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