Soil testing for rezoning plan starts

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 27/11/2012
Richardsons Line
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
DRILL BITS: Michael McCullough (front) and Gareth Moseley carry out tests on a Richardsons Line property to see if it is suitable for development.

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The development of a strip of land north of Palmerston North Airport is a step closer this week with the start of soil testing.

Contractors from Geotech Drilling are testing the soil at properties along Richardsons Line.

Yesterday they were drilling at David Adam's block.

Mr Adam said it was good to see some progress towards the extension of the North East Industrial Zone.

He was keen to sell and said he had had offers from developers. However, he had to wait until the Palmerston North City Council rezoned the land to industrial.

"We've been dealing with it for 11 years and it's good we're getting somewhere."

Mr Adam said the creation of more industrial land would be good for Palmerston North.

"I'd like to see it happen. It's been a long time coming."

The contractors are using two drilling methods. One involves drilling a small probe to determine soil strength and the risk of liquefaction. The other involves a larger 15-millimetre bore to test soil quality and contamination.

Liquefaction is the conversion of soil into a fluidlike mass during an earthquake or other seismic event.

Mr Adam did not expect any issues from the tests, calling the soil on his land "good old Milson clay".

The soil testing is the latest move by the city council to develop an industrial area northeast of the city.

Two weeks ago a dam was completed on nearby El Prado Dr that has freed up land east of the airport for development.

The redrawing of the boundary between Palmerston North City Council and Manawatu District Council was also done in part to give the city more land to use for industrial purposes.

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- Manawatu Standard

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