26 March 2014
District Plan changes come into force
Various changes to the Gore District Council’s District Plan have come into force following a lengthy public consultation process and hearings last year before the Council's Hearing Committee.
The Council's Consultant Planner Keith Hovell said changes to the rural subdivision rules were of significance. The minimum size for subdivision in rural areas is now 2ha. Previously there were no controls regarding size. The Council originally proposed a 4ha minimum area but submissions by farmers resulted in it being halved.
Controls now also apply to the town centre to ensure the heritage and pedestrian character of the Main Street is retained. The demolition of buildings in the central area requires consent, and any new buildings must provide continuous street frontage and verandahs. New vehicle crossings are not permitted.
Mr Hovell said three property owners opposed their buildings being added to the Council's heritage register. While these submissions were not accepted, the new provisions mean that when considering any request to alter or demolish buildings on the heritage register, the Council will consider
- the need for earthquake strengthening,
- the risk posed to people, and
- the cost of upgrading buildings.
Mr Hovell said that questions raised by land owners about the accuracy of the information on the extent of flood prone land, provided by Environment Southland, were still being assessed. Decisions on this issue were being held back at this stage, to allow for additional investigations.
People who lodged submissions have 30 working days to appeal the changes.