Subdivision meeting for aero club

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 12:02 19/03/2014
Mark Davis
Scott Hammond

Veto overturned: Colonial Vineyard part-owners Mark Davis, left, and Jono Bushell at the Burleigh vineyard that could become a housing subdivision

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Marlborough Aero Club members and the businesses based at Omaka airfield, near Blenheim, are to meet next week to decide whether to take further action against a proposed subdivision.

Club president Craig Anderson said the club was disappointed the Environment Court had overturned a Marlborough District Council decision and approved a housing subdivision on the Colonial Vineyards site.

The aero club had argued that housing should not be built near the airfield because the noise from planes, helicopters, and engineering businesses based at the airfield would disturb residents and lead to complaints.

But the Environment Court judgment said the 55-decibel threshold did not cross the subdivision and the Colonial Vineyard proposers had offered to put restrictions on the sections so that people could not complain.

Mr Anderson said that if the subdivision did go ahead, the only benefit the club could take out of it was that the Environment Court had decided there was no issue to answer for complaints.

The aero club committee met on Monday night but it had not made any decisions, he said.

It would see what the council was going to do, and Mr Anderson said a meeting of aero club members and Omaka airfield businesses would be held next week.

Commercial businesses such as Marlborough Helicopters, Sounds Aero Maintenance, the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, and the airshow used the airfield too, he said, and the court decision affected them in lots of ways.

"All these industries are vital to Marlborough. It's a shame, it would be a shame to jeopardise the longevity of these businesses."

Mr Anderson is also managing director at Sounds Aero Maintenance, based at Omaka airfield.

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- The Marlborough Express

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