INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hamilton Proposed District Plan Appea

Published: Tue 2 Sep 2014 12:16 PM
Hamilton Proposed District Plan Appeal
Property Council Waikato Branch has submitted an appeal on the Proposed Hamilton District Plan.
Waikato Branch president Rob Dol says the appeal was made on the Proposed Plan as the rules are overly restrictive and not reflective in the way businesses operate now or in the future.
“We have always said the Proposed Plan must be careful not to inhibit growth by discouraging developments with its overly prescriptive nature or lay out a blanket approach to all developments.
We know from experience that this will not produce the optimum economic or urban design outcomes desired.”
Mr Dol says one major concern of the branch is excessive use of restricted discretionary activities at the expense of permitted and controlled activities.
“Assigning a restricted discretionary status to most activities will dramatically increase compliance costs and result in delays as even relatively simple developments will have to go through a consent process, taking even more time and costing more money.”
A reduction in the number of permitted and controlled activities will reduce investment confidence and serve as a disincentive for businesses to establish or grow in Hamilton. For a thriving city, there must be an increase in permitted and controlled activities.
Property Council Waikato Branch supports the overarching objective of the Proposed Plan to deliver better quality urban environments and place strict limits on true standalone offices in areas not already approved outside the CBD.
It is crucial for the Proposed Plan to send out positive signals to investors, while simultaneously enabling Hamilton City to compete with neighbouring Auckland and Tauranga.
The document outlines concepts such as “development flexibility” in the Suburban Centre Zone and “bonuses” in the Central City, which is desirable, but they must be extended to the rest of the city.
The branch mooted the idea of an Urban Design Matrix during consultation which relies on a scoring system. This system would assess the general merits of developments, and proposals with the highest quality urban design for granting “smooth passage” through the regulatory process.
Property Council Waikato Branch will continue to work with Hamilton City Council to ensure development is encouraged to create a more competitive Hamilton.
END.

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