Next step in Unitary Plan process considered

Last Updated : 29 Feb 2016
Auckland Council considers next step in Unitary Plan

On Wednesday (24 February), Auckland Council’s Governing Body met at an extraordinary meeting to discuss matters relating to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan and zoning.

The outcome of the meeting was that Councillors voted to withdraw some of the council's evidence on residential zoning that was submitted to the Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) in January 2016. The council is currently examining the implications of those resolutions and an update will be provided in the coming days.

The Independent Hearings Panel is appointed by the Government and, as its name suggests, it is an independent body. It is expected to recommend a new Unitary Plan in late July 2016.

The council is just one party which submits evidence to the IHP. Others include government departments, community groups and individuals. The IHP will consider all of the evidence received from those submitters, some who are seeking zoning changes that would allow more housing in areas, and those that are seeking changes which reduce the opportunity for more houses.

Special legislation passed by the government governs how the Unitary Plan must be developed and agreed and this includes having independent hearings. This is not the council’s process, it is run by the IHP, which will recommend what should be in the Unitary Plan.

The hearings process has not changed. The IHP will continue to hear from many submitters and the council can still expect to receive the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendations in July.

The Governing Body then has 20 days to consider these recommendations and make a final decision in August.

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