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Feedback on draft District Plan “extremely valuable”

Feedback on draft District Plan “extremely valuable” says council

ROTORUA 16.08.11: A comprehensive process to develop a new District Plan for Rotorua is now entering the formal phase after several years work, and is on track for notification in mid-2012.

Rotorua District Council has received more than 360 submissions on its draft District Plan and the council has welcomed the feedback saying the comments will be extremely valuable for the next phase of plan development.

District Plans are local authorities’ key documents for determining what can and cannot be done on land in a city or district. Rotorua’s District Plan sets the regulatory framework for the city centre, residential suburbs, industrial areas and rural land.

Submissions received on the new draft plan are currently being collated and summarised by council planning staff ahead of consideration by the mayor and councillors at a series of meetings to be held over the next few months.

RDC chief executive Peter Guerin said he was encouraged by the level of engagement with the council on the draft District Plan from a broad cross-section of the community, including individuals, businesses, government agencies, consultants and local Iwi.

“Our District Plan tackles some of the key issues facing Rotorua such as improving water quality, revitalising the city centre, establishing a policy framework to stimulate economic growth, maintaining urban and rural amenity, and enabling development of Maori owned land. So in one way or another, this document will ultimately affect everyone in the district to some extent.”

The council’s economic and regulatory services group manager Mark Rawson says the submissions will go before elected members at a meeting in October as part of preparing the plan for its formal notification process.

“In the meantime councillors will be touring the district to inspect first-hand a number of locations where submission feedback has been focused.”

“At this stage it seems likely that by the end of March next year we will have a proposed plan ready for further discussion with our community.”

“This timeframe is important at it provides an opportunity for aligning the new District Plan with both our new Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy and our new Long Term Plan setting out council activities and projects for the next ten years,” said Mr Rawson.

“The policies and rules in our District Plan are carefully crafted to ensure a high standard of environmental responsibility and sustainability is maintained while allowing for the economy to move forward.”

District plans are a requirement of all local authorities in New Zealand and must be reviewed every 10 years. Rotorua’s existing District Plan has been in place since 1996 and was one of the first in the country adopted under the Resource Management Act 1991.

ENDS

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