11 March 2011
Rules regarding fire permits for urban and rural properties are in the spotlight as the result of a council review of the district’s Fire Control Bylaw.
In 2010, 592 fire permits were issued in the Waipa district. Fire permits are issued under the council’s Fire Control bylaw to avoid smoke nuisance and minimise hazards to people or property.
Waipa’s urban properties require a fire permit all year-round, whereas rural properties only require a permit from December to March. Urban and rural areas are defined in the bylaw, and determine who is responsible for fighting fires in those areas.
Waipa District Council’s manager planning and regulatory Wayne Allan said there were a number of reasons for reviewing the current bylaw. He said the council wanted feedback from the community about the current bylaw.
“Currently, the bylaw’s urban and rural areas are different from those in the District Plan. The New Zealand Fire Service has also recently changed its urban area, which legally determines the areas where it will respond to fires,” Mr Allan said.
He said the bylaw needed to address reclassifying areas that now fall outside of the New Zealand Fire Service’s urban boundary to rural, while considering their potential for smoke nuisance given their proximity to other properties.
Mr Allan said bylaws are set by the Council in consultation with the community, and in particular groups or people who may be directly affected. Once feedback was received it would be considered in the review of the bylaw, which would then be formally notified for further feedback before being adopted by the Council.
Copies of the existing bylaw and maps can be obtained from Waipa District Council’s offices in Te Awamutu and Cambridge, or by phoning Emma Swete on 07 872 0077, extn 7526. They can also be downloaded from the council’s website, www.waipadc.govt.nz/bylaws
Feedback on the bylaw is required by Friday, March 25, 2011 and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org