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Approval pending on deadline extension for Proposed District Plan decision

Waikato District Council is waiting for a decision by the Minister for the Environment on its request to extend the deadline for a decision on the Proposed Waikato District Plan (PDP).

The Council sought Ministerial approval to extend the decision deadline from 18 September 2021 until 17 January 2022 after receiving a recommendation from the independent PDP hearing panel at the Council meeting in June.

Waikato District Council’s acting General Manager Community Growth, Vishal Ramduny, says, after supplying more information to support the request last month, the Council has been told to expect a Ministerial decision late this month or early October. 

“Accordingly, the decision on the Proposed District Plan will be delayed until the Ministerial decision on the extension sought has been received, and the deadline determined,” he says.

More than 900 submissions, covering more than 10,000 individual submission points on the PDP, were received after it was notified in 2018. 

Final hearings took place in July this year via the pioneering use of videoconferencing that began during the COVID-19 lockdown last year to make participation easier for submitters.

The Council agreed to a recommendation from the PDP hearing panel to write to the Minister for the Environment requesting a deadline extension for the panel’s decision to help ensure high-quality decision-making.

“The Council concluded that the extension of time for a decision on the Proposed District Plan would provide more advantages than disadvantages for both developers and the wider community, because it will allow for a more robust set of provisions that are less likely to be appealed and can therefore be treated as operative sooner,” says Mr Ramduny.

More information on the PDP can be found on the Council’s website.