New expert reports called for on Plan Change 13
Cromwell resident Simon Giles' summary of the River Terrace subdivision issues connected with Plan Change 13 has been one of the most widely read Cromwell pieces published by Crux. In this Open Letter to the Central Otago District Council he challenges the council to request additional reports from the developer, as provided for in the Resource Management Act.
"An Open Letter to the Chief Executive Officer - Central Otago District Council
CENTRAL OTAGO DISTRICT COUNCIL
PROPOSED (PRIVATE) PLAN CHANGE 13 RIVER TERRACE DEVELOPMENTS LTD, CROMWELL
MINUTE 1 OF COMMISSIONERS
Dated 7 November 2018
Dear Ms Jacobs,
As you are aware, a panel of Commissioners have recently been appointed to hear and make a recommendation on Proposed (Private) Plan Change 13 (PC13). The date for the hearing is yet to be announced but the Commissioners have released their first public communication, referenced above.
In their Minute, the Commissioners note that a number of submitters have expressed concerns at the impact PC13 would have on the Cromwell Masterplan process. They have also identified gaps in the information available to them and have invited the Proponent to provide additional acoustic and urban design reports in support of their position should it wish to continue the application.
As a matter of procedural fairness, I maintain that those opposing PC13 are entitled to have expert independent evidence on these matters available both to inform the Commissioners and to facilitate expert witness conferencing. To this end, it is common practice for a local authority to commission consultants to prepare reports on any matter described in a Plan Change. This provision means that not only can additional information be provided via additional expert reports, but also that the expert reports that were lodged with PC13 can be peer reviewed enabling robust decision making. I note that as this process is provided for in section 42A(1) of the Resource Management Act (RMA) should additional costs be incurred, these would be met by the applicant in accordance with section 36(5) of the RMA.
Please confirm that you have already made or will very soon be making arrangements for appropriate expert independent reports to be generated on behalf of the Local Authority as defined in Section 42(6)(b). I note that the Central Otago District Council - supported by the Cromwell Community Board - voted on 24 October to oppose PC13 on the grounds that it would preempt the outcome the Cromwell Eye to the Future Masterplan.
Clearly, it cannot be acceptable to the Local Authority that expert reports from only the Proponent are available to the Commissioners.
I request that you attend to this important matter as a priority and advise all interested parties of the actions you have taken and will take in the future including your proposed timeline.
I look forward to your response.
Residents for Responsible Development - Cromwell
13 Nov 2018
Commissioners’ Minute Number 2 released 13 November 2018 widened the reporting requirement on the Proponent to consider noise effects on all adjacent activities, including horticulture activity.
The Minute also encourages parties to liaise directly with each other on this and any other matters."