a. Industrial zones will be included in the Plan to provide for types of industrial activities which should be segregated because of noxious or otherwise objectionable elements.
b. Rules and standards have been developed to avoid any adverse effects of noxious, offensive or dangerous activities.
c. The Council will provide information where available on how to design buildings to take advantage of solar energy.
d. Regional Council initiatives to co-ordinate the establishment of a regional hazardous waste disposal facility shall be encouraged and supported.
e. General rules have been developed to ensure the safe handling, management and disposal of hazardous substances.
f. Rules have been developed to ensure that signs generally do not detract from the amenity of the area.
The Plan takes a permissive approach to providing opportunities for a range of activities to locate within settlements, thus allowing flexibility and choice to residents, potential investors and business. A wide range of activities is also permitted within rural areas, compatible with traditional rural amenities. However it is important that in taking this approach the amenities of residents and workers are protected. It is acknowledged however, that in some cases this may not be practicable, for example new electricity transmission lines may adversely affect amenities but overall may be desirable to enable the community to provide for their social and economic well-being.
In some instances it may be necessary to segregate activities from neighbouring land uses or to require buffers or other means of mitigation of adverse effects. Segregation allows activities with potentially adverse effects to establish in a specified area with minimum inconvenience. The policies allow activities with potentially noxious elements to still remain viable given an appropriate location and appropriate neighbouring activities. The types of adverse effects where control or segregation may be necessary include noise, smell, fumes, vibration or the need to operate 24 hours a day.
Amenity of residents can also be improved through design measures. For example the orientation of living spaces to maximise sunlight and outlook. Amenity provisions may also improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Design improvements can significantly reduce energy requirements as well as having a beneficial effect on the rate of in particular, finite energy resource use. While these are encouraged, rules are costly to administer and it is considered that most designers are responsible in considering amenity.
Poor storage and handling of hazardous substances poses a significant threat to amenities and to the general environment. Hazardous substances include oils, fuels, paint stripper and discarded batteries, to name a few. The management of hazardous substances is largely controlled by specific industry guidelines and Codes of Practice, and the District Plan aims to ensure that these rules are adhered to and integrated into general resource management practice.
The West Coast Regional Council also has responsibilities under the Act with regard to hazardous substances. It is to develop a facility to provide for storage, treatment, collection and disposal of hazardous substances. Co-ordination and co-operation with the Regional Council is therefore essential to achieving integrated management of hazardous substances on the West Coast. A regional facility is favoured because the quantities of hazardous waste generated individually by each of the three West Coast districts is relatively small. It is most likely that a regional facility will be established as part of a centrally based solid waste landfill at Greymouth.
On a lesser scale, a number of activities individually have minor effects but cumulatively may adversely impact on the amenities of the District. In order to preserve and enhance the amenities of the District, controls are required to avoid, remedy or mitigate such effects where practicable.
Signs may potentially detract from amenity values, particularly visual amenity. The degree of effect will depend on the sensitivity of the receiving environment and the nature of the sign itself. Controls on signage are more restrictive (in terms of size, number, height, placement etc.) in more sensitive receiving environments, including residential and rural areas. Remote signs i.e. signs not relating to onsite activities are not permitted throughout the District, other than regulatory signs, traffic signs, signs identifying public facilities e.g. toilets and motorist information signs erected by a public body. This is necessary to avoid visual clutter associated with excessive and unnecessary signage and to protect traffic safety. The Council recognizes that there is a demand for advance signs on the state highway identifying upcoming tourist and other business activities. Such motorist information signs are already provided for by Transit New Zealand, in the form of internationally recognized motorist service signs (white and blue) and tourist attraction signs (brown and white).
Anticipated Environmental Outcomes
Implementation of the above policies and parent objectives is expected to achieve the following outcomes.
I Maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the living, working and leisure environment.
II Increased awareness of safe management practices relating to hazardous wastes and a reduction in the number of accidents and spills involving hazardous substances.
III Establishment of a regional hazardous waste disposal and storage facility.