Te Hātepe Whakarite Whakaū Wawe | The Intensification Streamlined Planning Process

The Intensification Streamlined Planning Process (“ISPP”) is a new planning process has been introduced to support Councils to implement the intensification policies of the NPS-UD and the MDRS. This process is called the Intensification Streamlined Planning Process (“ISPP”). Key steps in this process involve notifying the plan change for submissions and a hearing of submissions by independent commissioners, as outlined below.

This process is intended to enable Council to implement the housing intensification required by the NPS-UD at least a year earlier than would normally be achieved through the standard RMA timeframes. The ISPP is based on the streamlined planning process in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), with opportunities for Māori and iwi and public participation and no appeal rights.

It is noted that the ISPP differs from the RMA First Schedule process in two ways:

  1. if Council does not accept the Hearings Panel recommendation on Plan Change 9, then the Minister makes the final decision
  2. submitters have no rights of appeal to the Environment Court; the only legal challenge a submitter could bring is to apply to the High Court for judicial review of the Council (or the Minister’s) process. Council does not have discretion on whether to use the ISPP process; this is a requirement of the Amendment Act.

MfE guidance on the ISPP process is provided below:

Intensification streamlined planning process | Ministry for the Environment

Influencing the plan change

There is limited scope as to what we – both Council and the community – can influence, as the Amendment Act dictates what many of the rules need to look like, especially for buildings of three storeys or less.

What we can influence is what developments of four storeys or more will look like, and where these higher density areas are located. You will have the opportunity to have your say on this through the formal submission process.

Plan changes and Legal Effect

In general, proposed plan changes have legal effect when decisions on submissions are publicly notified. Some specific exceptions apply under sections 86A to 86G of the RMA. In addition to the existing rules within the District Plan, resource consents must be applied for activities that trigger new rules that have legal effect within proposed plan changes. In other words, different resource consents may be required under both the existing rules and the new rules.

In terms of Plan Change 9, rules permitting residential units that comply with the MDRS within the Residential 1 Zone and Residential 2 Zone have immediate legal effect from notification of the plan change on 20 August 2022 (unless a qualifying matter applies). This means that there is immediately greater opportunity for constructing housing without the need to apply for a resource consent on many residential zoned sited throughout Rotorua. (Refer to the supporting technical reports and FAQs on the Council’s website for more detail on the qualifying matters that limit where the MDRS has immediate legal effect).

Other parts of Plan Change 9 will only have legal effect once decisions have been made and notified by Council, after the submission and hearings process. The objectives and policies in Plan Change 9 can be considered from the notification date and weighted accordingly when Council considers relevant resource consent applications.

This will only have legal effect once the plan change decisions have been released. The proposed objectives and policies can be considered from notification and weighted accordingly.

Categories: Submission and plan change process
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