The Resource management Act requires Councils to undertake reviews of their District and Regional plans at least every ten years. In additional to this requirement, Council can also initiate a plan change at any time to address deficiencies in the plans or to enable changes to the zonings or rules affecting landuse and subdivisions within their Districts and regions.
Depending on the complexity of a plan change the process tends to be very long, involve considerable consultation with communities, and be very costly to Council (ie, very costly to ratepayers).
Our involvement with Council initiated plan changes tends to be twofold. Firstly, we are regularly engaged by those parties directly affected by plan changes to act on their behalf through the process of consultation, preparation of submissions, attendances at hearings, and frequently post-decision mediation meetings.
Secondly, many Plan changes have a wide effect on the community. In these cases we will often make submissions on our accord, on the basis that we have community responsibility to be party to the preceedings so that our professional knowledge and expertise on landuse and subdivisions is taken into consideration during the plan change. That is, we try to represent the community as a whole, many of whom may be adversely affected by plan changes without being aware of the proceedings or the process.
Because we have 5 branches in the upper North Island, we have involvements in a number of different Local Councils, and therefore monitor these plan changes across all these Council. If you become aware of plan changes in your area, and need more information, one of our professional team will be able to assist you.