The Marlborough District Council notified the proposed Marlborough Environment Plan (MEP) on 9 June 2016. Now is your opportunity to have your say by lodging a submission.

The MEP combines the Regional Policy Statement and most of the Marlborough Sounds and Wairau/Awatere Resource Management Plans into one single planning document for the region. Some of the rules in the MEP have legal effect now and must be complied with. Provisions relating to marine farming do not yet form part of the new plan and are still under review.

The MEP sets out what people can do on their land and how it may be developed. It also guides how individuals and businesses may use resources such as fresh water and coastal space. Therefore if you have property, business, recreational or other community interests in Marlborough, the MEP may directly affect you.

You have an opportunity to be involved in the process by lodging a submission on the MEP. The closing date for submissions is 5pm, Thursday 1 September 2016.

You can view the MEP here

Planning documents are usually only reviewed every ten years so the opportunity doesn't come along often to have your say on matters such as:

  • the zoning of your property;
  • how your property can be developed;
  • how your neighbour's property can be developed; and
  • how your property or activity can be protected into the future.

This process provides you with an opportunity to consider how your interests might be affected by the MEP and lodge a submission to ensure that your interests are protected. This can be done by either seeking changes to the MEP or supporting the notified provisions of the MEP so that those provisions stay in the MEP and are not changed as a result of someone else's submission.

The key to preparing your submission is to first understand how the MEP affects you. Then in your submission, clearly set out what parts of the MEP your submission relates to, the decision you would like the Council to make on the MEP, the reasons for this and whether you would like to attend the hearing to speak to your submission.

If you would like to attend the hearing, your submission provides the scope for what you can present. Therefore it is important to ensure that your submission addresses those matters that you want to cover at the hearing.

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.