Sylvia Allan, an experienced senior planner and Fellow of the New Zealand Planning Institute, has been commissioned to undertake the independent review of Kapiti’s Proposed District Plan (PDP).
The Petone-based planner has 40 years’ experience in urban, rural and coastal planning and will replace Leigh Auton, former president of the Institute of Planners, who was initially engaged but withdrew because of a potential conflict of interest.
Legal expert Richard Fowler QC has been appointed to work with Ms Allan on legal aspects of the PDP review. Mr Fowler is a Wellington barrister with over 35 years experience and expertise in local government and planning issues.
Chief Executive Pat Dougherty says the appointment of the two high-calibre experts means the independent review can get underway immediately to meet the deadline of a final report in early February next year.
“Our goal is to have a District Plan that represents good practice, is clear in its objectives and is easily accessible. This needs to be achieved fairly in the most cost effective way. he says.
“Council’s objective in appointing an independent planning expert and legal expert to review the PDP, is to determine whether the plan should continue to be progressed through the hearings process, be significantly changed, be withdrawn — or some other process followed to best achieve this goal.”
Mr Dougherty says the terms of reference for the review have been amended after consultation with the reviewers as well as coastal and rural submitter representatives.
Formal hearings related to the PDP were due to start at the end of this year but have been put on hold until the results of the review are known. Whether the PDP proceeds to hearings or not will be dependent on the findings of the review.
More information about the Proposed District Plan review, as well as the amended terms of reference can be found at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/District-Plan-Review