Residents 'kept in the dark'

A Kenepuru Sounds man says residents were "kept in the dark" about the direction and possible changes to a plan to subdivide land at St Omer Bay, in the Marlborough Sounds.

Kees van der Linden made the comment at a resource consent hearing before independent commissioner Ron Crosby and Marlborough District councillors Graham Barsanti and Jamie Arbuckle in Blenheim yesterday.

Alan and Leighton Pye have applied for permission to subdivide land at St Omer Lodge into five residential units, after first applying for 11.

Mr van der Linden said part of the reason he and his wife Irma bought their St Omer Bay property in 2003 was the natural environment, the amenities of the bay and the lodge.

He questioned the fairness of the developers' consultation.

There had been incorrect and misleading information in the subdivision application and not enough time was given for submitters to respond to the revised plan, he said.

"Overall it is a very confusing situation and a shaky basis for a hearing that should have full and adequate information available for all parties with reasonable time to consider."

Engineer Terry McGrail said the earthworks required had been significantly reduced as the proposed development had been scaled back.

Access roads would be of similar size and environmental impact as other driveways in the area, he said.

Development company lawyer Quentin Davies said any monetary contribution to roading at the development should take into account that the lodge would have generated significant traffic when it was open. The subdivision would produce comparable traffic levels, he said.

Mr Crosby said the applicant had until Friday to reach an agreement with the council over remaining issues and provide a report to submitters. They had until January 11 to respond before the panel considered its decision.

The Marlborough Express