Council grants extra month for say on coastal zones

Last updated 15:36 01/02/2013

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Kapiti Observer

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Community pressure has forced Kapiti Coast District Council to grant an extra month for responses to proposed coastal no-build zones.

Councillors voted on Thursday to add a month to the submission time on the coastal environment chapter in the draft District Plan.

The decision came after a motion to extend the deadline for the entire plan was narrowly defeated amid concerns it would delay the plan till after October's elections.

The push for a wholesale extension was spearheaded by councillor Tony Lester, who said given the scope of the review it was important to listen to residents.

''So what if we don't get it through by the end of the triennium?''
The plan sets controls on where and how property development takes place in Kapiti.

Once activated, it would not allow new buildings, subdivisions or coastal protection structures in beachfront zones in Kapiti.

These measures are based on the controversial Shand Report on coastal hazards commissioned by the council.

Councillor Diane Ammundsen poured scorn on the suggestion to delay the entire process.

She said councillors who attended all the public workshops understood they were working hard to stick to the timeframes, and delays would mean the planning would have been a waste of staff, councillors' and community board time.

Meanwhile, for the second week in a row angry opponents of the proposed changes fronted to councillors at the meeting.

Paekakariki resident and marine ecologist Philip Tortell said he had worked for the past 23 years as a United Nations consultant in developing countries.
''In all, my work public consultation and participation are paramount, and I involve people from the highest political and decision-making levels to fishing communities and desert nomads.''

He said serious public consultation was a dialogue, and it was arrogant to assume that because the plan deals with technical matters the general public would not understand.

''Some of the most pertinent submissions come from ordinary people. They are much closer to the real issues and problems.''

The vote to extend the deadline for the entire plan was defeated 5-3. Councillors voted unanimously to extend the deadline for the coastal environment chapter from March 1 to April 2.

On Thursday, senior manager Gael Ferguson said the council had received 15 submissions on the plan.

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