The hearing of submissions on the Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan (MEP) will begin this month.
The feedback received by Council through submissions will be considered in public sessions in front of a hearings panel, beginning on Monday 20 November.
The first week of hearings will cover the provisions of the MEP which relate directly to iwi and the hearing will be held at the Omaka Marae.
The following week, beginning Monday 27 November, the public hearings will focus on the provisions relating to Marlborough’s natural and physical resources, and will be held in the Council Chambers.
The hearings panel is then scheduled to reconvene on Monday 12 February next year when submissions will focus on plan provisions relating to climate change, energy, indigenous biodiversity, and natural character and landscape. Other topics will be heard progressively through to July 2018.
The hearings panel is made up of Councillors Trevor Hook, David Oddie, Laressa Shenfield and Jamie Arbuckle plus three independent commissioners, Ron Crosby, Shonagh Kenderdine and Rawiri Faulkner.
Hearings panel chairman Councillor Trevor Hook says the Plan review is a massive task which has run over three council terms and will direct the future of the district for years to come. More than 1300 submissions were received on the Proposed MEP and the hearings panel will have to consider over 17,000 individual submission points in support of, or in opposition to, the notified provisions.
“The MEP effectively consolidates all the Council’s existing resource management documents into a single plan which becomes the district’s guide for future growth and development, at the same time setting out how the region’s natural and physical resources should be managed and protected,” said Mr Hook.
The aquaculture provisions of the MEP are being handled by a working group whose recommendations to the Council will be put out for public submissions in a separate process.