Council denies land shortage

Boulevard on Taylor
Boulevard on Taylor

There is no shortage of land available in Marlborough for residential houses, says Marlborough District Council executive projects manager Jamie Lyall.

Mr Lyall's statement was in response to inquiries from the Marlborough Express over grumblings in the construction industry about council stymieing residential development.

People believed the council was not making more land available for residential development because it was protecting its own interests in the Boulevard on Taylor subdivision owned by MDC Holdings, a council entity.

However, the council's 2009 growth strategy found there were 1132 sections in Blenheim available for residential development, most of which were privately owned.

Most of the lots were in residential-zoned areas, including 350 sections in the council-owned subdivision in Taylor Pass Rd.

An additional 500 lots could be made available by subdividing existing lots in Blenheim, the report showed.

Mr Lyall said that the Christchurch earthquakes had changed the way most councils around the country identified land for residential use.

"The game has changed. We've had to revisit the programme to identify tracts of land that will not be adversely effected by seismic movement."

The final stages of a review on the areas identified by council for residential growth would be included in the reviewed resource management plan, for everybody to have their say.

He could not say how long that process might take, but did not think Marlborough was facing a section shortage.

"Marlborough has experienced very little demand in the last few years, and there is plenty of potential blocks of land around. We won't be facing a shortage of residential zoned land in the near future. There are opportunities available."

The Marlborough Express