Simplified consent process in Waimakariri Proposed District Plan

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By DAVID HILL

The Waimakariri Proposed District Plan seeks to simplify the consent process for properties with natural hazards.

The plan was notified on Saturday, September 18.

A new floor level certificate has been introduced in place of a resource consent, simplifying the process for those wishing to build in potential flood prone areas.

“If you’re looking to build in a flood plain you can apply for a floor level certificate for a relatively small charge and if you meet the floor level requirement no consent is required, which makes it a bit cheaper and simplifies the process,” development planning manager Trevor Ellis says.

“And you can add information, so if you have commissioned a report which shows the flood risk has reduced that can be added.”

With the interactive maps on the council’s website, residents can enter their address to identify what natural hazard risks may apply to their property.

Natural hazards include flooding from rainfall, coastal inundation and stop-bank breaches, as well as tsunami, liquefaction and fault lines.

Improving the accuracy of hazard maps is an evolving process with legislative changes around climate change, reducing natural hazard risk and ensuring preparedness and response to natural disaster, Mr Ellis says.

With the government in the midst of Resource Management Act and local government reform, more changes to the District Plan are likely and the council is prepared for that, Mr Ellis says.

“We have been told to box on with what we are doing and the councillors want to have a good regime in place for when the reform comes in.

“The government has already signalled there will be new pieces of policy statement that councils need to be mindful of and we are reasonably confident of where we are at.”

While the District Plan is expected to have a life of 10 years, it cannot ignore longer term hazards such as sea level rise, he says.

“There is projected coastal inundation with sea level rise, so it effects beach side communities.

“The modelling of the 100 year horizon is based on government guidance and we understand the government will be coming out with more guidance.”

District Plan online, check for any changes that might affect their property, and make a submission during the formal period by visiting waimakariri.govt.nz/letstalk.

Council staff will also be available to answer questions at the Rangiora Service Centre during business hours or at several held around the district.

Submissions close at 5pm on November 26.