Publication:

Te Puke Times - 2021-06-10

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Council’s user-friendly eplan

FRONT PAGE

Western Bay of Plenty District Council is making it easier for people to navigate its district plan with the launch of a userfriendly eplan. The eplan is an interactive electronic version of the District Plan. It aims to make it easier to find information relevant to individual properties and for people to have their say on changes to the plan. Council’s district plan review project manager, Natalie Rutland says the eplan is a more effective way for people to get the information they need. The council’s eplan design is similar to a number of other councils throughout New Zealand, which will make it easier for customers who interact with a number of different council plans. “The district plan is one of the most searched documents on council’s website. Making the district plan more accessible and easier to use aligns with council’s goal of improving digital services for our customers,” says Natalie. “We believe this eplan format is much easier to find what you’re looking for quickly, and is a positive step toward simplifying the regulatory space for our community.” Features of the eplan include searching for a specific property and finding the relevant district plan features and associated rules for it, the ability to refer to other related documents or search and filter for key words, making it easier to find any specific information. Moving to an eplan also puts the council in a better position to manage plan change processes and meet the Ministry for the Environment requirements for all councils to have an online interactive eplan by 2024. “As we look to start a district plan review process later this year, an eplan will be a useful tool to help with this. A district plan review process happens every 10 years and involves taking a complete look at how we manage land use and development across the district. The district plan review process will involve a lot of community engagement and consultation over the coming years.” To learn more about the eplan, go to www.westernbay. govt.nz/eplan

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