Posted: 29 June 2007
Further submissions sought on marine farm plans
Concerns about potential impacts on existing uses and a lack of certainty about where marine farms will be allowed dominate submissions on proposals to establish an aquaculture planning framework for Northland.
Legally, new marine farms can now only be developed in areas formally designated as Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs) by Regional Councils and the Northland Regional Council is part-way through consultation designed to ensure evaluation criteria it uses to consider applications for AMAs are as robust as possible.
The Council received 333 submissions on its plans earlier this year and will tomorrow (subs: Saturday 30 June) release for further public comment, a detailed 300-plus page summary outlining the issues raised by those submitters.
Glenn Mortimer, the Regional Council’s Planning and Policy Manager, says of the submissions, six percent support the Council’s plans to change its Regional Coastal Plan in their current form.
Of the balance, the majority raise concerns about a variety of aspects of the proposal. These include a large number of submissions with identical wording.
Key among the concerns raised are the potential impacts of marine farming on property values, tourism and recreation. Another major concern is that the plan does not specifically ban marine farming from certain parts of Northland which submitters feel need special protection.
Mr Mortimer says from tomorrow the public will have until 15 August to comment on these – and other issues – contained in the summary. Those submitting also have the right to present their argument in person at the hearings.
The summary is available as a free download from the Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz Alternatively, hard copies are available from all Council offices for $15 (incl GST) or as a CD-ROM for $20 (incl GST).