THE final decision on the provisionally approved rezoning of Waibola from residential to heavy industry rests on the director Town and Country Planning.
Fiji Environmental Law Association co-ordinator Kiji Vukikomoala said according to the Town Planning Act Section 22, the director Town and Country Planning shall "as soon as practicable" consider all objections.
"Following the amended public notice by the Lami Town Council to amend the Lami Town Planning Scheme by altering the zoning of Lot 1 DP5818 Waibola, Wailekutu from Residential to Commercial C, Heavy Industry and Car Park all owners or occupiers of land within the area covered by the scheme were given a month to object to the alteration by giving notice in writing to the Lami Town Council pursuant to Section 26 of the Town Planning Act," Ms Vukikomoala said.
"Following the one-month period for objections which has ended, the local authority (Lami Town Council) forwards all objections to the director Town and Country Planning who then, according to Section 22 of the Act, shall "so soon as practicable" consider all objections.
"Section 22 (2) stipulates that the director will convene a hearing and has the power to summon witnesses and to hear evidence on oath. Lami Town Council or any objector may be represented by a barrister and solicitor."
Ms Vukikomoala said the process at this stage was waiting for the director Town and Country Planning to convene a hearing date.
"The final decision rests with the director Town and Country Planning after a hearing is convened. In Section 23 of the Act, the director can uphold the objection in whole or in part, dismiss the objection or require the modification of the scheme.
"After the hearing and if the alteration is approved, there must be public notification of the approval.
"There are no regulations governing the conduct of a hearing and possibly the delay is related to that."