As readers may be aware, the Marlborough District Council has commissioned work on how and where Blenheim Urban Uses should expand to.
Previous work identified areas to the east of Blenheim as well as to the north and to the south west.
And then along came the Christchurch earthquakes and that new word for some: “liquefaction”.
Suddenly, there was a need to review the options and acknowledge that Blenheim is in a Category 1 Earthquake Zone.
It has always been known that areas to the east had marine sediments under them and these are the most prone to liquefaction.
So going east may be best avoided given this, and the council needs to locate future expansion in the least hazardous locations.
What are the options? Some development to the southwest may be possible but, as Colonial Vineyards has found, that presents problems also.
Going north, as previously identified? That is not simple and is still being investigated regarding liquefaction.
Taylor Pass is possible and already zoned ready to go, but more land is needed.
So northwest is the main option left to investigate and the council has started that work.
Will the versatile soils in this area be considered as part of the decision?
Yes they will, but so will all the other factors.
Will expansion at Renwick be considered?
Yes it will and has been, but there are issues there also.
So there are no easy options but due care and consideration will be applied to achieve the best practical outcome that is consistent with the Resource Management Act.
David Dew is the chairman of the Resource Management Plan Review Committee at the Marlborough District Council.
- The Marlborough Express