Fast track for 'low-risk' conversions

Last updated 05:00 19/05/2014

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Low risk dairy conversions will no longer have to go before the Environment Southland consents committee.

At a committee meeting last week, Environment Southland policy planning and regulatory services director Vin Smith said new dairy conversions considered to be at the low end of the scale in terms of environmental effects could be approved by staff under delegated authority rather than a council committee.

Dairy conversions proposed in areas where the effects will be more than minor will still be decided by the committee.

The change was part of an ongoing work programme to make them as effective and efficient as possible, Smith said.

Councillors on the committee were largely supportive of the move.

Cr Nicol Horrell said the concept of a delegated authority was a good one

However, Cr Jan Riddell said she was concerned about the lack of consideration given to groundwater and surface water levels, and wintering on or off. "We need to be very careful here."

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- The Southland Times

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