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Rotorua spatial plan to ensure sustainable growth

Rotorua spatial plan to ensure sustainable growth

Rotorua Lakes Council has taken the significant step of adopting a spatial plan that will guide how and where the Rotorua district will grow.

“This is Rotorua’s first spatial plan and one of only a few around the country,” Mayor Steve Chadwick says.

“It’s another place-shaping document which aligns with our 2030 vision and direction and aims to ensure that we grow in a considered and planned way, rather than allowing ad hoc growth that would cause problems.

“Having a spatial plan is not a statutory requirement and it is not a legal document but it will provide certainty for those who will facilitate future growth – including Council, central government agencies, landowners and developers, business people and individuals,” the Mayor says.

The plan was adopted at the August Full Council hui and followed a two-phase consultation process – an initial round to inform a draft and then consultation on a draft.

“Having seen no growth for some years, Rotorua is now considered a medium growth area,” Mayor Chadwick says. “We need to consider where more homes could be built, where more businesses, schools, recreation facilities could be located, where we need to focus in terms of infrastructure planning and investment and what areas need protecting.

“We’ve taken a 30-year horizon with this plan and if Rotorua keeps growing at the current rate for the next three decades our population could top 100,000. That’s 30,000 more people who will need somewhere to live and who will create demand for more businesses, infrastructure and community facilities.”

The plan will be reviewed periodically. “It is a living document. We will need to check we’re still on the right track and make adjustments if things change,” the mayor says.

“More than 1000 people engaged in two rounds of consultation. We had some tough conversations with the community and robust discussion around the council table. Changes have been made to reflect feedback received and there will be further conversations with our community regarding some aspects. Any related District Plan changes including a Lakes A Zone review will provide further opportunities for the community to have input.

“It’s important people understand this plan is not a statutory document and does not set anything in concrete but ensures we carefully consider ongoing growth in our district.”

The Mayor says the spatial plan will fit within the suite of plans and strategies now in place to guide and enable Rotorua towards the district’s 2030 vision and goals.

“It’s an important piece of the puzzle as we continue to see our district grow and progress. That is evidenced again in the latest Infometrics quarterly report which shows that in the year to the end of June this year, Rotorua’s GDP growth is steady at 4%, higher than the Bay of Plenty (3.6%) and higher than the national average of 2.7%. Other indicators also continue to point to growth in Rotorua and we are seeing new developments, new businesses and building upgrades prompted by our district’s growth potential so we need to be ready and well planned so that growth happens in a sustainable way.”

Find out more and view the spatial plan at THIS LINK on Council’s website.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s meetings are livestreamed so you can also view the discussion regarding adoption of the spatial plan HERE on Council’s website.

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