what's coming up?
After 2 ½ years of submissions and hearings, the Independent Hearings Panel will be releasing their recommendations to the Council on 22 July 2016. The Councillors will have until 19 August 2016 to either accept or reject the recommendations of the Panel, and appeals regarding the provisions must be lodged with the Courts by 16 September 2016.
How much will change?
Like you, we do not know what the Panel’s recommendations will be. We expect that they will adopt the agreed positions that submitters and the Council have come to, however they are not likely to adopt all of the Council’s submissions. We also understand that the look and feel of the Plan will be different to the current version.
Under the specific legislation for the Unitary Plan there is a reduced scope of appeal available. In general, appeals are only able to be made on points of law (to the High Court) unless the Council does not accept the recommendations of the Panel.
What does this mean for you?
The rules are changing - there are likely to be activities that you can do now that you won’t be able to do without consent. Equally there could be activities that are more permissive than currently. We understand that some zoning is also likely to change, this could be upzoning of some residential areas or changes from rural to urban.