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Rural Issues Kick Off District Plan Review

Rural Issues Kick Off District Plan Review

Hastings District Council is reviewing the District Plan, the document underpinning all of Council’s land use rules, and the first ‘cab off the rank’ is a Rural Discussion Document.

The plan was first notified in 1997 and, as rules and the land use context have changed over time, it’s now due for a comprehensive review. The review will be carried out over the next three years on a timeframe that will see it adopted in late 2013.

District Plan Working Party chair Cr Mick Lester says the aim of the District Plan has always been to allow land owners to achieve their aspirations, such as how they use their land or sub-divide their properties, in a way that protects the environment for future generations.

“This plan is very important to our District but much of what the Plan does happens without people realising it. However, it’s critical Council gets feedback from a cross-section of the community – we’re all effected by this,” Cr Lester says

“The first part of the process is the Rural Discussion Document and we need help from the rural community to make sure the updated plan will achieve the best outcomes for them.

The Rural Discussion document will examine important issues, such as; the balance between the increasing number of people wanting to live on lifestyle blocks and retaining the vital economic benefits of agriculture, and competition between traditional pastoral farming and more diverse uses, such as packhouses or tourism.

“If you have concerns about any of these issues we want to hear from you. Now is the time to influence how the rural environment should be managed in future,” Cr Lester says.

Consultation on the Rural Discussion Document is open until Friday, March 18 next year.

This will be followed by discussion documents on Urban and Coastal issues. The comments received on all three will then be considered before a draft District Plan is publicly consulted on. Consultation over the whole process will include key stakeholders, workshops and wider public consultation.

The review will also take into account previous work by Council on the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy and the Long Term Council Community Plan.

For more information on the District Plan Review or a copy of the Rural Discussion Document go to www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/districtplan, call District Plan Review project leader Rowan Wallis on ph. 871 5000 or write to:

ENDS

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