Urban limits will continue to be a governing principal of development in the Western Bay of Plenty, at least for now.
SmartGrowth Committee members have decided to retain the principle of urban limits for the purposes of developing the updated SmartGrowth Strategy.
Members considered three options as part of a recent workshop and committee meeting. These included retaining current urban limits, looking at criteria for development outside the urban limits and removal of the limits. The SmartGrowth Committee decided to retain the principle of urban limits at this stage for the purposes of updating the SmartGrowth Strategy. However the importance of being able to re-visit urban limits at a later date was also noted.
The SmartGrowth Committee also agreed the approach to population projections in the absence of 2010 Census data. The SmartGrowth Update will use the figure of 275,000 for long term population projections for the western Bay of Plenty but will review this once new Census data is available in 2014.
Independent Chair Bill Wasley said that SmartGrowth will move away from the existing approach of combining population numbers with specific dates to act as triggers for development and move towards using population milestones instead.
SmartGrowth has recently met with 38 community and sector groups as part of the community engagement for the Strategy update and will now begin developing the revised Draft Strategy, which will be open for public submissions in March/April 2013.