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- To preserve the natural character of the coastal environment and to protect it from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development:
- avoid adverse effects of activities on natural character in areas of the coastal environment with outstanding natural character; and
- avoid significant adverse effects and avoid, remedy or mitigate other adverse effects of activities on natural character in all other areas of the coastal environment; including by:
- assessing the natural character of the coastal environment of the region or district, by mapping or otherwise identifying at least areas of high natural character; and
- ensuring that regional policy statements, and plans, identify areas where preserving natural character requires objectives, policies and rules, and include those provisions.
- Recognise that natural character is not the same as natural features and landscapes or amenity values and may include matters such as:
- natural elements, processes and patterns;
- biophysical, ecological, geological and geomorphological aspects;
- natural landforms such as headlands, peninsulas, cliffs, dunes, wetlands, reefs, freshwater springs and surf breaks;
- the natural movement of water and sediment;
- the natural darkness of the night sky;
- places or areas that are wild or scenic;
- a range of natural character from pristine to modified; and
- experiential attributes, including the sounds and smell of the sea; and their context or setting.
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