A. Land management practices which maintain or enhance the quality of land and its productive potential and the quality of water resources shall be encouraged and promoted where they do not give rise to other significant adverse effects.
B. Landuse activities in the rural area should avoid, mitigate and remedy their adverse effects on adjoining landuses, the community and ecosystems.
C. The establishment of activities which degrade, erode or contaminate high quality soils should be avoided to safeguard their productive capabilities and to protect human and animal health and safety.
D. Subdivision for dwellings in the Rural zone should not be permitted where it will unreasonably restrict the operation of existing activities permitted as of right on adjacent sites.
a. The Council will provide information on land management practices which maintain or enhance the quality of land and its productive potential where available.
b. Rules and standards have been developed so that adjacent land use activities are compatible in the rural area or adverse effects satisfactorily mitigated.
c. The Council will encourage research by other appropriate agencies on ways of ensuring sustainable use of the soil resource.
Explanation / Reasons
The sustainability of resources in the rural area is critical for the long term viability of Westland communities. Integral to achieving sustainability will be ensuring that adjacent land uses are compatible or that adverse effects on neighbours can be mitigated. A well managed farm should enhance the quality of the land and not give rise to significant effects. Farming is also of major importance to the District's economy and welfare. Westland's dairy and beef products are recognised as among the best in New Zealand.
Alternative uses of the rural land resource which require a rural location such as rural-residential living, commercial forestry and natural resource-based tourist activities are generally considered to be appropriate in the rural management area, given the importance of economic diversification to maintaining small, vulnerable rural communities. Mining is locationally specific and a temporary activity and can be accommodated in Westland where affected land can be restored to the same or higher potential. Land that has specific conservation values and is within the conservation estate will also be managed by the Department of Conservation. Other activities may also be appropriate, and are provided for in this Plan as discretionary, so that their specific environmental effects can be assessed on a case-by-case basis, including cumulative effects, for example, on the amenity and open character of the rural, as opposed to urban, environment.
Anticipated Environmental Outcomes
Implementation of the above policies and parent objectives are expected to achieve the following outcomes.
I Improvement in the condition and value of the land resource.
II Maintenance of the character and amenities of the rural area and communities.
III Maintenance of the productive potential of the land resource.