Submissions closing soon on the Proposed Waikato District Plan

There has been a lot of interest in Waikato District Council’s Proposed Waikato District Plan and the public are reminded that submissions close next month.

The Proposed Waikato District Plan (Stage 1) establishes the guidelines for future growth and development, including rules for protecting the district’s environment and heritage.

Submissions have been open since July 18, 2018 and close at 5pm on Tuesday, 9 October, 2018.

Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson says the Plan will help Council achieve its vision of creating liveable, thriving and connected communities. “The Plan provides a new spatial vision for the future development of our communities and we look forward to receiving submissions from all community interests as we work towards finalising it.”

The Proposed Waikato District Plan gives guidance to landowners about what they can do with their land – where a garage can be on the section and how many storeys the house can be depending on where it is in the district. But it also goes much deeper than that – the District Plan also protects the district’s culture and heritage and has innovative ways to encourage development on Maori Freehold Land with papakaainga housing developments.  The Proposed Plan also protects valuable productive land and restricts further fragmentation of high class soils.

Up until now, the district has had two different sections of the Operative District Plan, planning provisions inherited from the Franklin District Council and one for the rest of the district. With this Proposed Plan, the Waikato district will finally be united and have one set of planning rules and guidelines.

A highlight of work Council has done to celebrate growth in the district is additional residential zone areas for Tuakau, Pokeno, Te Kowhai, Taupiri, Ngaruawahia and Horotiu.

Reviewing the District Plan has been a long process which has involved numerous opportunities for the community to have their say, but making a formal submission on the Proposed Plan is one of the most important parts.

There are a number of changes between the current Operative Plan and the Proposed Plan, but some of the more exciting include:

• The adding of around 60 heritage sites and buildings, along with 16 notable trees to their respective lists. The rules have been amended to provide for ongoing maintenance and care or repair.

• A consistent residential zone and redeveloped village zone, along with three business zones and additional industrial zoned area in Huntly.

• Under the Taangata Whenua chapter, flexible provisions have been created that give more options for those with Maaori Freehold Land.

Council encourages everyone to make a submission online, but hard copies of the submission forms are also available from all Council offices, libraries and by phoning 0800 492 452 to request one.

Lots of information on the Plan and its supporting documents can be found on Council’s website, www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/pdp This is also where you can make a submission.

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