Fish farms expected to hit property values

22:30, Oct 09 2012
Carney Soderberg
Arapawa Island resident Carney Soderberg

Nine new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds could shave millions of dollars off property values in the area, says Wellington man Mark McGuinness.

Mr McGuinness is a property developer and also owns propertry on Arapawa Island, in the Sounds. He said a property looking out over two proposed farms at Kaitapeha Pt might lose $500,000 in value.

New Zealand King Salmon's failure to analyse costs as well as benefits of its application to expand was a fatal flaw, he told the Environmental Protection Authority hearing in Blenheim yesterday.

The day King Salmon was given consents for its proposed new farms in the Sounds, its capital value would increase at the expense of neighbouring property owners. This would happen even if the farms were not built.

"I could live with losing value on our property if I thought this was a good thing for New Zealand, but struggle when asked to be an unwitting part in a poor deal for the local economy and the country," Mr McGuinness said.

King Salmon said its farms had a small footprint but the application was the equivalent of putting a 40-storey building in a suburb of colonial villas, he said.

Arapawa Island resident Carney Soderberg said he had contacted several valuers in the Sounds to assess his property as a result of the King Salmon application. All but one had a conflict of interest because of past and present associations with the company.

The valuer Mr Soderberg employed said the proximity of a salmon farm to his property could reduce its value because of noise, visual and pollution effects.

King Salmon had concealed evidence of market devaluations through confidentiality clauses with property owners, Mr Soderberg claimed.

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