Everyone in New Zealand is affected by a District Plan in some way, shape or form. District Plans are primarily used to control land use and development. They can facilitate and restrict property use. As a result they are an important tool in how districts develop.
The Dunedin City Council develops and implements the District Plan for Dunedin. The Council is currently reviewing the Dunedin City District Plan as required by the Resource Management Act 1991. The review provides an opportunity to update, change and insert new provisions that better reflect the district now, and how it is to be developed over the next 10 years.
The Council has been promoting alternative options, changes and content for the last couple of years. All the documents relating to this consultative process have been uploaded to the Council’s website at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/district-plan/2gp.
District wide feedback has been received and 2GP plan provisions are being drafted. We understand the 2GP will be publicly notified on 26 September 2015. This will be the first time that the public has the chance to look at the proposed 2GP as a whole. Once notification occurs there will be a period of 40 working days to submit on the proposed provisions.
The submission period gives you the chance to have your say on the proposed Plan. You will be able to state whether you support, oppose or are neutral to any of the 2GP’s provisions and the reasons why. In our experience the most effective submissions also propose specific changes to the Plan that address a submitters concerns. Suggesting changes to plan provisions needs to be considered carefully to ensure there are no unintended consequences that simply create further fish hooks.
Following submissions the Council will prepare a summary of submissions. This will be notified and the public will have a further opportunity on the changes previously requested. Following that, hearings will be held to consider the issues raised and a decision on the Plan will then be issued. Submitters can appeal the decision to the Environment Court so long as the appeal is in relation to a matter or provision referred to in their submission.
From our involvement in the 2GP so far we anticipate the most significant issues raised by the 2GP will relate to Natural Hazards, Residential Density or Urban Growth (or lack of it).
If you think the 2GP may affect you or you would like further information on the matters raised in this article feel free to get in touch. Our Resource Management Team is experienced in all aspects of the 2GP process and work with District Plans every day. We provide practical tailored advice regarding submissions and Plan changes to help you understand how the 2GP might effect you and how you may wish to develop or use your land.