Rotorua Lakes Council today opens up the Pukehangi Heights Plan Change for public submissions. The proposed Plan Change has moved to the submissions process following approval from the Ministry for the Environment for a Streamlined Plan Change Process to proceed.
The Pukehangi Heights area, on the southwestern side of Pukehangi Road, was identified as a Future Growth Area within the Council’s District Plan. Given the need for additional land for housing, and the desire to make it easier for landowners to move ahead with development, Council is proposing to alter the zoning of the area to a mix of residential and rural residential.
“Housing in Rotorua is a priority for Council and as such we have been working proactively with the landowners, hapu and Regional Council on the development of the Pukehangi Heights Plan Change”, says Team Lead - RMA Policy, Kate Dahm.
Work done to date on the Plan Change include assessments and reports around the archaeological, cultural and landscape values, stormwater impacts, roading and traffic, water supply and natural hazards, with a structure plan being created to guide any development in the area. The plan has been developed to ensure future development recognises and protects the archaeological, cultural and landscape values of the area, provides for good urban design outcomes, incorporates low impact storm water management and enhances ecological values through partial revegetation of the escarpments.
In 2019, Council applied to the Minister for the Environment to use a Streamlined Plan Change Process (SPP). In approving the use of the SPP, the Minister acknowledged that it allows urban growth issues to be responded to in a timely way, and is reflective of the complexity and significance of the planning issue.
Spokesperson for the Hunt block, Stephen Hunt, comments, "I look forward to the Plan Change now progressing as we continue to work on the creation of a legacy development for Rotorua."
Information on the Plan Change, along with submission forms, are available on the Council website: letstalk.rotorualakescouncil.nz, and at Council offices and the Library. The submissions period closes on Thursday 20 February 2020.
Council will be holding a public drop-in session for those wanting to find out more and ask questions, between 5 – 7pm, at Westbrook School on Wednesday 29 January.
Following the submission phase of the process, it is anticipated that hearings will be held towards the end of June, with a recommendations to be provided to the Minister for the Environment in September for a final decision.
Learn more about this project at: letstalk.rotorualakescouncil.nz/District-Plan-Plan-Change-2-Pukehangi-Heights