Time flies by so quickly and we are now down to the final month of our Draft District Plan engagement period. The engagement period closes on 31st August 2022, so start sending your feedback.
Do you care about the environment? Here is what is recommended in the Draft District Plan to protect the environment.
What important areas/features are protected?
To provide clarity around the importance of the district’s landscapes and features, parts of the district have been identified as having special values.
The Outstanding Natural Landscapes (ONL) and Features (ONF) are provided with the most protection. New buildings and structures would typically require a resource consent. Earthworks would be permitted for the maintenance of a range of existing farm tracks and structures, but most other earthworks would require a resource consent. Plantation forestry, carbon forestry, intensive farming and planting of wilding conifer species would all be prohibited activities in the ONL/ONF.
Significant Natural Features (SNF) and the Rural Scenic Landscapes (RSL) have fewer restrictions than the ONL/ONF, however a resource consent may still be required for some land uses. We acknowledge that much of the land covered by these is in private ownership and people will have concerns about further restrictions on the future use of their land. Please tell us what you think.
How are we looking after indigenous biodiversity?
There are more than 100 threatened species in the district and a lot of them are at low altitudes, which is also where most of the private land ownership tends to be. Biodiversity doesn't just occur on conservation land - private landowners also have a big role to play in protecting our natural heritage.
We have undertaken surveys to identify Significant Natural Areas (SNA) and these have been mapped. Some SNAs remain unmapped but we still need to provide protection for these areas. One of the key objectives of the Draft District Plan is to halt the decline of the district’s indigenous biodiversity by protecting, restoring and/or enhancing SNAs to ensure that there is no overall loss of indigenous biodiversity because of land use activities.
Are we doing enough to protect waterways?
The Draft District Plan contains provisions to protect riparian margins from inappropriate activities that could affect their natural character. Activities such as new buildings or vegetation clearance would likely need a resource consent. However, the restoration and enhancement of riparian margins is encouraged.
Are these things that you support? Let us know.
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