The Independent Hearings Panel is continuing to make progress towards the proposed Replacement Christchurch District Plan ("Replacement Plan") becoming operative. With plenty going on at the end of 2015, and much having happened in the first few weeks of 2016, now is an opportune time to provide an update on how matters are progressing.

Hearings in progress

  • The hearing on Coastal Environment and Residential Baches (Chapter 19) is currently underway. Issues for consideration in that hearing include whether the Coastal Environment has been appropriately identified, whether the Proposal sufficiently recognises and provides for working farming areas and whether provisions relating to baches at Taylor's Mistake are appropriate.

Upcoming hearings

There are two significant upcoming hearings.

  • The General Rules and Procedures (Chapter 6) hearing begins on 11 March 2016. A number of issues will be considered at that hearing including airport noise and aircraft protection; signage; temporary activities, buildings and events and waterbody setbacks.
  • The Panel is scheduled to hear submissions and evidence in relation to the Definitions Chapter (Chapter 2) on 22 March 2016.

Recently released decisions

Recently the Panel has released a number of decisions, specifically on the following chapters:

  • Specific Purpose (Burwood Landfill and Resource Recover Park) – Stage 3
  • Subdivision, Development and Earthworks (Part) – Stage 1
  • Transport (Part) – Stage 2
  • Commercial (Part) and Industrial (Part) – Stage 1
  • Residential (Part) - Stage 1

Decisions to be released later this year

We anticipate that in the next few months the Panel will release decisions on a number of significant chapters of the Replacement Plan, including the Natural and Cultural Heritage Chapter (Chapter 9), the Central City Chapter (Chapter 13), the Natural Hazards Chapter (Chapter 5) and Open Space Chapter (Chapter 18). The Panel has recently completed hearings for those chapters.

Appealing a decision of the Panel

All of the decisions released by the Panel are able to be appealed to the High Court within 20 days of the decision being released. However, you can only appeal if you made a submission, and only in relation to a question of law.

Extended timeframe

Initially the Panel was given a deadline of 9 March 2016 by which to complete all hearings and release all of its decisions of the Replacement Plan. This deadline has been removed and it is now expected that all hearings will be completed and decisions released by late 2016.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.