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The Queenstown Lakes District Council will prepare a set of guidelines around rural boundary fence rules, to help clarify the District Plan interpretation, QLDC chief executive Duncan Field said.
The guideline stems from the need for the council to protect areas of Outstanding Natural Landscape (ONL), balanced with practical farm management.
“The issue comes down to the wording of the plan. If earthworks undertaken to install a farm boundary fence are ‘reasonably necessary’ then it can be done without consent but the problem is defining what that means,” Mr Field said.
The establishment of major fence lines could run into the ‘hundreds of thousands’ in terms of cost so understandably the rural community had a strong interest in the matter.
“We don’t relish the thought of clarifying the rule through court proceedings, stemming from taking enforcement against the rural community,’ Mr Field said.
The Council considered the issue last month.
“One case in particular brought this issue to a head and due to the sensitivity around mediation on the matter the Council considered it in public excluded,” Mr Field said.
That mediation had proved successful with agreement by all parties to the concept of developing the guideline to clarify the rule.
“It’s possible that the outcome may still have to be a Plan Change or some other method but in the first instance we will develop the guideline around what is ‘reasonable’ and apply that administratively through Lakes Environmental,’ Mr Field said.
He hoped the guideline could be available next month.
For more information please contact Duncan Field 03 441 0499.