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29 Oct 2015

Will be notidied in 11 November 2015:

·      Council resolved on 11 December 2014 to undertake a variation to the Proposed District Plan (PDP) for the Ruakura Structure Plan area.

·      Council staff has consulted with landowners and key stakeholders throughout the preparation of the Variation to explain the process and to identify issues of importance.

·      The Ruakura Board of Inquiry (BoI) decision recognized that components of the overall development envisaged within the Ruakura structure plan area are of national significance and the BoI’s decision has had a strong influence on the drafting of the Variation.

·      A number of key issues have arisen though the drafting of the Variation which are also influencing the project.

·      These key issues include; managing the transition of existing rural residential areas to employment land over the long term; future development of land adjacent to the inland port; ensuring adequate protections are in place to protect the amenity of existing residents from future development; including planning mechanisms to ensure land can be developed without creating adverse impacts on the City’s infrastructure; and providing for additional medium density residential land.

·      Council will approve the Ruakura Variation for notification on 11 November 2015, pursuant to Section 73 of the Resource Management Act and Clause 5 of Part 1 of the First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991.

·      The PDP was notified on 10 December 2012 and contained detailed planning provisions for the Ruakura Structure Plan area.

·      On 13 June 2013 Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and Chedworth Properties Limited (CPL) submitted a private plan change request to the Operative District Plan (ODP) to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The plan change request only applied to half of the Ruakura Structure Plan area.

·      The plan change was declared to be part of a project of national significance by the Minister for the Environment who directed the matter to be determined by a Board of Inquiry (BoI).

·      The plan change request was submitted to the EPA immediately prior to the commencement of hearings on the PDP relating to Ruakura in 2013.

·      To avoid unnecessary duplication and costs associated with running parallel planning processes, the previous Council resolved to suspend all PDP hearings relating to Ruakura until such time as the BoI made a final decision on the plan change.

·      The Ruakura BoI was held throughout May and June 2014.

·      In September 2014 the BoI issued its final decision on the plan change, which confirmed the land could be rezoned for the purposes of an inland port with supporting industrial, retail and residential development.

·      The BoI decision contains planning provisions that not only enable development at Ruakura, but also provide effective safeguards to protect the City’s infrastructure and to maintain the amenity of nearby residents.

·      Council resolved on 30 October 2014 to formally approve the plan change as legally required.

·      Council resolved on 11 December 2014 to undertake a variation to the PDP to address the BoI decision and the deferred matters in the PDP.

·      A variation is required as the notified version of the PDP contained provisions for Ruakura which were very different to the BoI decision, and Council did not have scope to amend these provisions to fully align with the BoI’s decision. 

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