A plan change by Environment Southland means all new dairy farms will require resource consent:
Owners of all new dairy farms in Southland now have to apply for resource consent after a contentious plan change was approved by Environment Southland.
Plan Change 13 was notified nearly two years ago and trialled in the past year, with Environment Southland adopting it in a public-excluded council meeting yesterday.
Under the new rules, all new dairy farms need a resource consent before becoming operational.
Applicants require a conversion environmental plan, which includes a soil assessment, a nutrient management plan and a winter grazing plan.
This imposes additional fees on top of those already charged for water and discharge permits and could cost farmers about $1000 in total.
Environment Southland chairwoman Ali Timms said the rule would provide the council with a tool to meet the community’s concerns for water quality, while also meeting the council’s national obligations.
The new rules would help to ensure Southland’s water quality did not decline any further, she said. . .
ES is the first council to require consent for dairying.
Other councils could follow, though it would be sensible to wait and see whether the plan change works as it is intended to.
Few would argue with the intention to improve water quality but it will take some time to determine if this is the best way to achieve it.