Over the past eight years, we’ve been reviewing our District Plan which has led to changes including strengthening our retail strategy, giving certainty over residential and industrial growth, planning new areas for development, encouraging intensification and affordable housing, prioritising heritage in the city, and identifying new flood-prone areas.
Previously, the whole District Plan was reviewed at the same time, but in 2009 when the review was being planned a new Council had just been elected and wanted a new vision. At the same time changes were made to the Resource Management Act which allowed us to review parts of the plan in sections.
The Council decided to look at the plan in sections as it allowed us to determine what plans needed to be prioritised based on Council strategy and key city planning issues. It also meant two commissioners could sit on all the hearings and provide consistency over council terms.
The New Zealand Planning Institute has recently given the Council a commendation for best practice in the district/regional planning category. It follows another win late last year from Local Government NZ for best practice in governance, leadership, and strategy.
PNCC General Manager of Strategy and Planning, Sheryl Bryant, says it’s great to receive more praise for the plans we have for the future of our city.
“These awards show that we are leaders in city-planning in this country. Our residents can have confidence in our process and ensuring that we embody our vision for Palmerston North as having small city benefits with big city ambitions.”
City Planning Manager, David Murphy, said it was great to receive praise for such an extensive project.
“The outcome is a District Plan that’s had more than 20 plan changes which are now improving the lives of our residents, giving effect to Council strategy, and was done affordably and with no major opposition in the Environment Court.”