This Act provides for spatial development of Tonga and in particular, among other things, provides for the fair, orderly, economic and sustainable use, development and management of land including the protection of natural and man-made resources and the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity. It establishes the National Spatial Planning Authority and appoints the Minister for Lands as the Authority. The principal function of the Authority shall be the implementation of the provisions of this Act in accordance with its objectives. It shall also, among other things: facilitate the preparation and approval of sustainable management plan; undertake development assessments; and promote the strategic planning and coordinated action in relation to the sustainable use of land. National, regional, district, village or site specific spatial plans shall be made in accordance with this Act. The Authority may cause to be prepared and may approve a set of development standards.All development needs consent under this Act unless a plan or regulations provide otherwise. Consent shall be obtained from the Authority. Where circumstances so require, the Authority may require the applicant to submit with the development application a development plan which assesses strategic planning, land use and development. An application shall be accompanied by any environment impact assessment required under any applicable environmental legislation. The Authority may include in development consent any condition that it thinks fit. Appeals under this Act may be made to the Planning Tribunal. The Act also defines offences and provides for enforcement and in particular an Order to be served on land owners or occupiers to do or refrain from doing a thing specified in the Order.
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