Subdivision plans all go despite Leggett's fears

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 13:45 28/06/2013
Subdivision

Some of the proposed areas for subdivision on Old Renwick Rd. The solid black lines represent proposed roads

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Landowners are being called into meetings and letters will be sent to ratepayers now that councillors have approved the notification of eight plan changes to set up residential subdivisions to the north and west of Blenheim.

The Marlborough District Council yesterday signed off on plans to carry on with a process in which the council proposes to change the zoning on rural land to free up sections for houses, particularly around Old Renwick Rd.

This was despite councillor John Leggett's concern that the council had gone from planning a subdivision to the east of Blenheim, before the Christchurch earthquakes, to planning one on the other side of town without sufficient consultation.

Consultation on building houses in Riverlands began in 2009, and was well down the track when the big earthquakes struck in 2010 and 2011. After that, the council carried out geotechnical investigations and ruled out land on the eastern side of town for development because of the risk of liquefaction.

Mr Leggett said he raised concerns when the issue was discussed by the community and financial planning committee, and he still feared that it was being done too quickly.

There had been "significant" consultation in 2009, but the council had never gone back to do any more consultation from that point on, he said.

There were other areas in the district where landowners wanted to subdivide for housing, and they were not included in this move. There were issues of cost and time for other landowners trying to do private plan changes, when the council was putting though these other changes at its expense.

"That's quite an important issue."

Council chief executive Andrew Besley said there could not be any more additions to the proposed plan change now because of the scope of the plan changes.

However, other landowners would have the opportunity to comment on the rezoning and could join at a later stage.

"This proposal is for the council to see land for residential subdivision as quickly as possible."

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- The Marlborough Express

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