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District Plan Hearings

The Hearings on Biodiversity, Subdivision and Earthworks will proceed at the Council Chambers on 10-12 February. 

There are a considerable number of submitters, including all the usual suspects who will appear to present their evidence. The Chairman has indicated that he will be tightening up the process, and that submitters will be required to toe the line in regard to timing and professional standards.

It should be possible to determine the attitude of the Committee to some of the more strident submitters early in the Hearings when they question some of the claims that are made, for example the Coromandel Property Owners Association who are adamantly opposed to aspects of the Draft Plan that they consider interfere with their freedom to develop in any way they see fit. You can understand that this is the fundamental philosophical debate that 'has to be had'.  The Environmental Defense Society, and others will lead the charge form the other side of the spectrum.

I have read the submissions, and most appear reasonable, if often understandably self-serving. Others appear to pro-forma in nature, and indicative of a 'desire to be heard!'

This is the controversial end of the Hearings, and much swings on the determinations that are made. Anyone interested in the future development of the District is encouraged to take the time to listen to at least some of the submissions. Times for submitters will be available later, but they are seldom able to stick to the timetable even though the Chair has promised to maintain stronger control than at earlier Hearings.  

The sub-division, 'set-backs' and landscape provisions are likely to be the touchstones of dispute - set-backs in particular, where many affected landowners are determined to defy nature, and maintain their land values. The reality of maintaining insurance cover is rapidly hitting home, but the arguments in favour of the proposed 'set-backs' appear pretty incontrovertible, and along with the Staff recommendations, backed up by peer reviewed expert advice.   



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