Proposed district plan set for public release
After four years in the making, the Southland District Council has agreed to notify publicly its draft district plan.
Council resource management manager Simon Moran told councillors at a meeting in Invercargill yesterday that during the last four years the council had undertaken a full review of its existing district plan, which was adopted in 2001.
The plan outlines the direction of the council and the region's development for the next decade, and the review was carried out in conjunction with Environment Southland's review of the Southland Regional Policy.
However, councillor George Harpur questioned if changes to biodiversity guidelines would restrict agricultural development.
Among the key changes the district plan proposes removing the permitted activity enabling the clearance of indigenous vegetation from land cleared from 1986 onwards. "If we'd had those laws in place 100 years ago, we wouldn't have a primary industry here in Southland, or in the rest of New Zealand," Cr Harpur said.
However, Mr Moran said the proposal would not prohibit land clearing. "What this plan says is you'd have to go through a [consent] process."
The draft plan also proposes introducing a default financial contribution of 100 per cent of costs to be paid by consent holders, creating a new industrial zone for Riverton and the expansion of industrial zones in Winton and Edendale, and permitting gravel extraction of 1000 cubic metres per year for farm maintenance but requiring consents for extraction for farming conversions and commercial extraction operations.
Cr Rodney Dobson, of the Riverton ward, said he believed the proposed plan reflected the changing face of Southland.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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