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354 submissions received on land and water plan

8 November 2012

354 submissions received on land and water plan

Environment Canterbury reported today that it had received 354 submissions on the proposed Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan.

There is now an opportunity to make a further submission, for those who represent a relevant aspect of the public interest or who have an interest in the proposed plan greater than that of the general public. They can submit either for or against submissions already received.

Commissioner Peter Skelton says Environment Canterbury appreciates the time and effort submitters have taken in preparing their submissions.

“The Land & Water Regional Plan is crucial for Canterbury’s future so we must get it right,” Professor Skelton said. “It provides the framework to facilitate delivery of the community’s aspirations for water management as set out in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. The Strategy is the first time that the quality of water from various sources has been comprehensively addressed – in both urban and rural areas.”

After the close of submissions in the current round, on 14 November, the next step in the process is hearing of submissions by appointed independent Hearing Commissioners.

Professor Skelton says that in order to help submitters the hearing is being held in three steps. “The less controversial parts will be heard in the first stage,” he said. “Preliminary legal issues will be heard from 11 December to 14 December, sections other than those including farming provisions and sub-regional sections of the plan from 4 February to 22 March 2013, farming provisions from 2 April to 3 May, and sub-regional sections from 13 May to 31 May. There will also be time for Council reply - from 10 June to 14 June.”

Professor Skelton said Council recognised the challenge of the timetable for submitters. “The schedule for delivery of the plan was first signalled in July this year,” he said. “Logistical arrangements have now been made with the Hearing Commissioners, with an expectation that they will report to Council by September 2013.

“It is important to Council that the region-wide Land & Water Regional Plan and the sub-regional sections of the plan to follow do not get out of sequence. The delivery timetable is challenging and any delays could potentially affect the overall programme for the next four years.”

For more information and the latest version of the proposed Land & Water Regional Plan, go to www.ecan.govt.nz/lwrp. For more information on the planning process generally, go to www.ecan.govt.nz/our-responsibilities/regional-plans/Pages/planning-process.aspx

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