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Every Council is required to have a District Plan. It is a ‘rule book’ that directs how we will use, develop and subdivide land in our district. It includes Council's environmental objectives and policies and sets out the rules to help us achieve those goals. It specifies what can and can’t be done without a Resource Consent, and the standards that must be followed. District Plans ensure that our current needs, including economic and residential growth, are balanced with protecting the natural environment for our residents today and for future generations.
District Plan maps show future land use designations and the district’s zoning:
Everyone is affected by the District Plan because it helps shape how we live, work and play in Central Hawke’s Bay. Its policies are designed to ensure the environment, and the things people love about living here are protected.
No-one can use land in a way that disregards the District Plan – even visitors need to follow rules relating to things like hazard management and noise.
Our district, values and people are quite different from the time our current District Plan was prepared nearly 20 years ago. As good practice, a District Plan should be reviewed every 10 years.
A District Plan plays a big part in how we manage growth in the district, addressing a range of issues including character, amenity, heritage and landscape, open spaces, urban growth, subdivision and coastal management.
You may be interested in big picture aspects of the District Plan like outstanding landscapes, or just what you can and can’t do on your property – subdividing, building a new garage or deck, or starting a home business.
While the Proposed District Plan is not yet finalised, it is relevant to the things that you do with your land. As the PDP moves closer to finalisation, the objectives, policies and rules it contains will have greater effect on how the Council makes decisions on resource consent applications. Once decisions on the PDP have been made, all rules will have legal effect. Once all appeals have been resolved, the PDP will be in its final form and will become operative, completely replacing the current Operative District Plan.
The Proposed District Plan was notified on 28 May 2021. The submission period was open until 6 August 2021.
We have since then received 123 submissions, published a summary of submissions and received 29 further submissions which are all available to view on our website.
At the beginning of 2022 the District Plan Hearings Panel began to hear submissions. This was where submitters were able to present their views to the hearing panel, who will decide on what the final version of the District Plan should look like. Seven blocks of Hearings were held throughout the year, with the last block held in December 2022. All of the information about the Hearings is available on our Hearing’s Portal here.
The Hearings are currently adjourned while the Panel deliberate on all of the submissions received and evidence presented. Once their recommendations have been finalised the decisions and an updated 'decisions' version of the Proposed District Plan will be publicly notified. This is anticipated for later this year.
To help explain the provisions of the Proposed District Plan, five key themes have been developed. Click here to read about the key themes.
We have worked closely with tangata whenua while preparing the plan, including partaking in hui, field trips and presentations, and having Taiwhenua o Tamatea representation on the plan sub-committee. The plan includes specific chapters addressing cultural values, sites of cultural significance, and papakāinga and kaumatua housing.
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