Thursday 3 October 2013
Mayor Angus McKay says the process will give residents the opportunity to have their say through an independent process and the decisions arrived at will give certainty to the community as a whole.
"It is Council's responsibility to plan for the future and securing a location for the bridge is a vital step in ensuring that the district can continue to grow and our local road network can cater for this growth." he said.
Council Group Manager Service Delivery Neil McCann says "While the bridge is not set to be built until 2026, the land designation will protect the planned route so that it is available when construction starts," he said.
To obtain a land designation, Council must lodge a Notice of Requirement. The process will require the application to be publically notified, giving anyone the right to submit on the application.
"Council will appoint an independent commissioner to hear all submissions received on the land designation and to make a decision on the application," he said.
Mr McCann says the community and affected parties will have the opportunity to prepare formal submissions and present evidence at the hearing.
"We encourage everyone to make a submission in support or opposition to the land designation application," he said
The hearing is likely to be in February 2014 and a decision shortly thereafter.
As part of any decision, the commissioner will take into account the application for the Notice of Requirement, planners' recommendations, submissions and information presented at the hearings.
"Council has consulted with property owners whose land will be directly affected as well as those in close proximity." he said.
Council has budgeted $300,000 for the land designation process in the 2013/14 financial year.