Council approves land probe

The Marlborough District Council has applied for resource consent to drill 40 geotechnical investigation bore holes on the northern and western sides of Blenheim.

Councillors on its environment committee approved the geotechnical assessment of land to the north and west of Blenheim. The land has been earmarked for housing development after land to the east and south was ruled out because of the risk of liquefaction in an earthquake.

In a report to the committee, council executive projects manager Jamie Lyall said Opus would carry out the soil investigation at a cost of $250,000.

Councillors agreed to spend that money from forestry and asset sales reserves on the expectation it would be repaid from fees paid when the land was developed.

Mr Lyall's report said the revised growth strategy hadidentified new areas to the west of Blenheim.

It is considered that continuation of the soils investigation programme is necessary and consistent with the previous approvals for the geotechnical evaluation of soil characteristics.

"The investigations are a critical part of the decision process required to complete the South Marlborough Urban Growth Strategy. Additionally, the scope and nature of the investigations are in line with the expectations that a reasonable council will have taken account of."

He said the installation of boreholes required resource consent. All landowner approvals had been obtained from affected parties and a consent application had been lodged.

The Marlborough Express