Needs challenging

Jayne and Stephen, Gisborne

Planning policies are changing at a rapid rate, but in which direction and for whose benefit?
One example is the proposed intensive farming, also referred to as ‘sustainable farming’, in the Rural Living Zone and Rural Conservation Zone.
Proposed changes for these zones will allow development of an intensive farming venture of chickens or pigs. Also proposed is the removal of adjoining land owners’ rights of notification and to be able to object to such a venture. So, until the sheds are built and up to 10,000 chickens have moved in, adjoining land owners will have no idea what has shifted in next door.
It is important to advocate for protection of farming practices and support farmers, but shouldn’t intensive farming be in appropriate and zoned farming areas? I am sympathetic to the farmer’s plight when confronted by people building in the country (farming zoned areas) who then complain about the cows keeping them awake during weaning season. Yes, farmers should be protected, but to purport that RLZ and RCZs are appropriate areas for intensive farming of chickens and pigs, and that these changes will assist in the development of important industries, needs challenging.
Should not those living in RLZ and RCZs have the right to be protected too? Is it rural living or conservation protection to allow intensive farming in these zones? Is it right to remove a land owners’ ability to object to an intensive farming venture in a RLZ or a RCZ? This is not a few chickens, it could be up to 10,000!
I urge all those living in the Macedon Ranges to consider and speak up about these proposed changes. An informed discussion around intensive farming in Rural Living and Rural Conservation Zones needs to occur before it is too late.

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