Brownlee takes advice about intervention
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is taking advice from his Cera office about whether he should again use his earthquake powers to intervene on greater Christchurch residential development boundaries.
Last week Environment Canterbury (ECan) asked Brownlee to direct the regional council to develop a recovery plan to address controversial land use issues.
In July the High Court ruled Brownlee should not have used his powers to revoke a planning document making its way through the Environment Court and replace it with new planning documents written and adopted under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act. In particular, Brownlee made a "serious error" by preventing people from accessing the courts, Justice Chisholm said at the time.
ECan, Brownlee and others have challenged the decision in the Court of Appeal; a hearing is set for November 20.
ECan told the Environment Court it had asked Brownlee to tell them to create a recovery plan because it believed that would speed up the development planning.
If Brownlee agrees, ECan may be able to withdraw the contested planning document, known as Proposed Change 1, from the Environment Court.
The recovery plan would be similar to the Central City Recovery Plan which was developed by the city council last year, and open to public consultation.
A spokesman for Brownlee said ECan had not approached him about the possible plan before making its submissions to the Environment Court.
Cera officials would give Brownlee their advice over the next few weeks, he said.
Brownlee would not comment on whether he was concerned that ECan's request appeared to be driven by a desire to cut short Environment Court litigation.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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