District Plan Review FAQs

District Plan Review

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What is the District Plan Review?

The District Plan Review is an opportunity to reconsider everything in the Timaru District Plan 2005. It's not exactly starting from fresh, but uses the current District Plan's provisions as a starting point.  There are also various matters the new District Plan must comply with.

If the review finds we need to completely reconsider our approach to a particular issue, then there is scope to do that. The process for a District Plan Review is set out in the Resource Management Act 1991.

Why review the District Plan?

Simply put, we have to do it. The Resource Management Act requires Council to review each provision of a District Plan every ten years if it has not been reviewed or changed in the meantime.

How does the District Plan affect me?

There are a variety of ways the District Plan can affect you. If you own land, the District Plan controls what type of activities you can do on that land, what you can build, how high and certain aspects of the design. Amongst other things, it also controls whether you can subdivide that land and how much noise you can make. District Plans also control what is happening next door and in your neighbourhood. The District Plan Review provides you an opportunity to have your say and potentially influence how the new District Plan addresses those matters in the future.

What phase is the District Plan Review in now?

Discussion documents have been completed on the issues for each major topic.  A booklet that summarises the community feedback on the discussion documents has been released.  The booklet also includes the Environmental Services Committee's initial direction for the review.

Staff are now drafting the new plan.  This will take into account the direction obtained to date from the discussion documents and Timaru District 2045 Draft Growth Management Strategy (GMS).

The initial Committee direction and GMS was then used by Council staff and consultants to draft plan provisions. This is being considered to align with the direction provided by the government on the National Planning Standards in drafting.

The Draft District Plan was released for consultation with feedback closing on 31 December 2020. For more information, please check out the Draft District Plan page.

The Proposed District Plan was released for consultation with submissions closing on 15 December 2022. Further submissions on the Summary of Submissions ran from the 24 July 2023 to the 11 August 2023.

The diagram below illustrates the District Plan Review process and where we are in that process.

district plan progress

Please note land use growth is being dealt with in the GMS.  Any direction provided by the draft Strategy will inform the new District Plan. For a list of current and completed consultation topics, please visit the District Plan Review Consultation Page.

How are the provisions developed in the Draft District Plan?

Development of the draft provisions goes through a rigorous process. First, a report is prepared that documents the statutory context and issues associated with a plan topic or chapter. The report then assesses the effectiveness of the options and the costs and benefits of each option. Conceptual provisions are then brought to Council’s Technical Working Group. This group consists of key Council staff, consultants and representatives from Environment Canterbury and AECL (Te Runanga O Arowhenua’s environmental consultancy). Once the conceptual provisions are agreed, they are then workshopped with Council, after which detailed provisions are developed and then agreed by the Technical Working Group. The provisions are then externally peer reviewed, legally reviewed, before being presented to Council for final comment before inclusion in the Draft Plan. This provisions at this stage are only being adopted for consultation as draft provisions.

The diagram below illustrates the progress of each chapter:

DPR Drafting Process

How was my feedback on the Draft District Plan considered?

There is a total of 50 chapters/topics, and for each chapter/topic, staff and consultants consider and respond to each feedback point; complete an issues and options report; engage additional research and consultation, and if deemed required; amend the draft chapter; discuss the recommended changes in the Technical Working Group meeting, and if there is a policy shift; amend the chapter; workshop this with the Environmental Services Committee and produce the final provisions of this chapter.
The below diagram illustrates how feedback for each chapter/topic is processed.

DPR feedback process

How is the Proposed District Plan Developed?

Once we have completed all topics/chapters, we will start the integration work to make sure all chapters work well together and the District Plan presents well on the ePlan platform. The Integration process is illustrated below:

DPR Integration Process

How will the new District Plan respond to land supply and housing affordability?

In July 2021, Council decided to conduct additional consultation and research regarding the quantum of zoned land needed to accommodate district growth.

The project included stakeholder and public consultation, economic research and a planning assessment, after which the findings will be workshopped with Council and implemented through the Proposed District Plan.

Findings in this project can be find in the Background and Assessment Reports page of the Proposed District Plan.

Last updated: 13 Sep 2023