Far North District Council says notification of a proposed District Plan will take longer than anticipated due to the high number and complexity of public submissions received about the document.
In a statement, Council said staff were working hard to complete a summary of the 8,117 requests made by nearly 600 submitters, but that the process was taking longer than expected due to the scale and complexity of some submissions.
The council was intending to publish the submissions summary by the end of May. Once a submission summary has been published, a notification will be issued seeking further submissions from the public either in support of, or in opposition to, the summarised submission points.
“All submissions have now been entered into the submissions database, and staff are now undertaking quality assurance checks,” Council said.
“This will ensure that no submissions are excluded from the notification process, and that the summary is as user friendly as possible enabling submitters to easily analyse the summary contents and make further submissions.
“The quality assurance checks are a necessary step in the process. Any error in the summary could inadvertently exclude someone from the plan making process, which may result in a second notification being required. This would delay the next step in the submission process even further.”
Council says it aims to issue the notification late June, but it’s possible it could be delayed until July.
Once notification has been made and the submission process closes, Council staff will prepare reports for a hearing panel. Hearings will be scheduled for the later part of the year.