Waikato District Council has received Ministerial approval to extend the deadline for a decision on its Proposed Waikato District Plan (PDP) until 17 January 2022.
The Council sought approval from the Minister for the Environment to extend the 18 September decision deadline after receiving a recommendation from the independent PDP hearing panel at the Council’s meeting in June.
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 request a deadline extension to help ensure high-quality decision-making, and to provide more time to fully integrate the PDP with two significant changes introduced since it was first notified – the National Planning Standards and the National Policy Statement for Urban Development.
Waikato District Council’s acting General Manager Community Growth, Vishal Ramduny says the extension provides more advantages than disadvantages for 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.