Natural Character provisions withdrawn from Proposed District Plan 05 March 2015 The natural character provisions of the Proposed District Plan have been withdrawn. This includes the objectives, policies, rules and overlay maps. The decision to withdraw the natural character provisions was made by Council at its meeting yesterday. A Hearings Panel is currently listening to submissions on our Proposed District Plan. After hearing submissions, the Panel deliberates and makes recommendations to Council. A variation to the Proposed District Plan will be publicly notified later this year to introduce provisions that address natural character, prior to Council decisions on the rest of submissions being released. The Natural Character variation will better address the requirements of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and the Waikato Regional Policy Statement with respect to natural character. The Natural Character variation will be open to submissions and a hearing will be held for submitters to address the Hearings Panel. While submissions on the natural character provisions of the Proposed District Plan will now not take place, the hearing of submissions on the landscape and coastal environment provisions will proceed as planned (on 14-16 and 21-22 April). All those who made submissions on the natural character provisions in the Proposed District Plan will be formally notified by Council (within the next few days) about the changes. Everyone will get an opportunity to make a submission on the provisions in the Natural Character variation following its notification.