Developers told to 'go west'
Blenheim's new suburbs are likely to be out to the west, around the Westwood commercial development and along Battys Rd.
The Marlborough District Council yesterday released a map identifying potential areas for new houses, tagging five new sites around the north, west, and southern edges of Springlands.
Three of the sites surround the Westwood development, which includes Bunnings and Pak 'n Save. Another is north of that, bordering Old Renwick Rd and Thomsons Ford Rd, and the fifth site is off Battys Rd.
Council executive project manager Jamie Lyall said letters were sent to about 100 landowners this week saying the council would be interested in rezoning their land for housing.
Landowners of neighbouring land could contact the council if they wanted their land to be considered, too, he said.
Population projections suggest another 2500 houses will be needed in Blenheim during the next 20 years.
Council hearings committee chairman David Dew said councillors were conscious developers and landowners considering subdivision needed clear signals about the best direction for expansion.
Mr Lyall said the council had several applications for housing subdivision in Severne St, Rose Ln and David St during the past year or so, and this review was the best way to handle the demand for residential development in those areas.
"Rather than an ad hoc basis, there needs to be some structure behind it. That's what the thinking is behind this identification process."
The council's South Marlborough Urban Growth Strategy is a planning project the council is running to find land suitable to rezone for housing.
This latest move is part of a review of that strategy, after land to the north and east of Blenheim initially earmarked for housing was ruled out in May when engineers said the sites would suffer liquefaction in an earthquake.
Mr Lyall said the council wanted to talk to people about the new areas that have been identified.
Council staff will be available to meet any interested parties to discuss these issues on August 28 and 29, he said . Appointments could be made by contacting the council.
Landowners with land inside the areas earmarked for future residential development did not have to develop their land if the area was rezoned, Mr Lyall said. However, there would be some impact on them as there were likely to be some changes to the rates they were charged.
"Most of the elements of the rating area are subject to services. There would be an impact but without the land being developed and services being there, the impact is not major . . . there would be some change."
Services - such as town water supply, rubbish collection, or waste water - were not provided in the areas identified yesterday, he said.
The council intends to complete consultation with landowners by early September, issuing a draft report reviewing the Southern-Marlborough Urban Growth report by mid-September. That would be open to public feedback, with a final report due by mid-October.
- The Marlborough Express