PROJECTS / Plan Change 15 - Palmerston North City
Palmerston North City Council embarked on a brave and substantial challenge when they began work on Plan Change 15. It included 8 topics for consideration and straddled some of the biggest issues for the City including Rural Subdivision, Wind Farms, Outstanding Landscapes, Flood Hazards, and Utilities.
The PNCC team did a great job preparing the plan changes with their associated s32 reports. On receipt of 967 individual submission points from 91 submitters, the Council sought our help. We boosted the PNCC team numbers for the massive task of summarising submissions, managing further submissions and constructing the s42a reports in response to the submissions.
The plan change included some of the biggest issues for the City including Rural Subdivision, Wind Farms, Outstanding Landscapes, Flood Hazards, and Utilities.
The team used our online submissions management software, Spoken, which enabled the combined teams to work in three separate locations (Martinborough, Taupō and Palmerston North). Using Spoken ensured that submissions were linked, tracked, cross-referenced, summarised and evaluated as accurately as humanly possible in preparation for the s42a planner's reports.
Spoken certainly made everyone’s lives a whole lot easier. It meant that each planner responsible for a specific topic could generate a report of submissions relevant to their topic, and know that everything that needed to be covered in s42a reports was stored in one place. The Council therefore got a good overview of the submission points received.
Section 42a reports
Once the submissions were summarised and further submissions recorded, the s42a report writing began. This was a joint effort between the teams at both PNCC and PPL and resulted in a huge task being split amongst many, making relatively light work of what could have been a fairly daunting and soul-destroying prospect. This is a critically important step in the first schedule process and we were so pleased to be able to assist the team to ensure it was done swiftly and thoroughly. They do say many hands make light work and this was definitely an example of that!
In a little over 12 weeks the s42a reports were ready, the planners were set and the hearings were all go. Spreading the workload meant that the hearings could happen in relatively quick succession and no one planner was responsible for the entire workload.