Property owner gets green light

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 08:00 10/11/2012

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Growing trees, erecting a windmill and building a shed are all back on the list of things Roberts Line home owners Jeff and Susan Twigge can do with their property after making a deal with Airways Corporation.

Airways has withdrawn most of the controls it wanted to impose in a designation to protect its next-door Doppler VOR navigation aid from interference.

Mr Twigge said he was delighted with the outcome, after being furious when he realised how much the proposed designation would restrict his rights.

The couple bought the 4.4ha piece of land from the city council two years ago and built there, unaware of pending controls about the height of trees and buildings they would be allowed to have.

Airways was also unaware the land had been subdivided, that a building consent had been issued and that the Twigges' house was there.

When the proposed designations were advertised in the middle of the year, the Twigges discovered they would not be able let their shelter belt trees grow taller than 4m, and would not be able to put up a shed or windmill.

Nowhere on the 300m deep property would they be allowed a building taller than 8m.

Mr Twigge made a submission on the city council's proposed plan change 10 to the District Plan resisting the "draconian" measures, which he said were excessive and unwarranted.

But since then, city council policy planner Daniel Batley has organised for the Twigges and Airways to get together on site and come up with a solution.

The result is the signing of a memorandum of understanding which allows Mr Twigge to do almost everything he would want to do.

"The shelter belts can stay, and I can grow my trees to 23m. I can have a windmill. And we have a conductor on an electric fence, and we can keep it.

"We are absolutely delighted.

"It was a positive thing the council helped to achieve."

An Airways spokeswoman said the corporation was pleased to have reached agreement with Mr Twigge on what he could do on his land.

There was no compromise to safety or to Airways operations, she said.

Mr Twigge has withdrawn his submission on the Plan Change.

A hearing of submissions on other changes to designations will be held next week.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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