Wetland means no place for cats in subdivision
The proximity of a regionally significant wetland will see cats barred from Tasman's latest rural-residential subdivision.
Boomerang Farms Ltd last month received resource consent for its 50-lot 80-hectare subdivision off Awa Awa Rd, near Ruby Bay, from Tasman District Council's environment and planning subcommittee.
The subdivision will be developed in eight stages across land which was subject to the successful 115-lot subdivision by Ruby Bay Developments in 2007.
Apart from the five-hectare wetland, the subdivision features a proposed access road which crosses the site but only provides walking, cycling and horse riding access to the nearby Stagecoach Rd.
The development's directors, Matthew Wratten and Richard Hebberd, proposed to protect the wetland via a Queen Elizabeth II covenant but keep it in private ownership. They volunteered the subdivision's cat-free status.
In her submission, Debs Martin, of Forest and Bird, said a QEII covenant did not bind the landowner to action and she supported the wetland being vested with the council.
Council environmental resource scientist Trevor James told the subcommittee the wetland was under serious threat from weeds. He asked that the consent's condition reflect a 2007 botanical report written by Michael North.
The subcommittee decided that a walkway would be formed down Awa Awa and Marriages roads during the subdivision's final stages to cater for demand, that Awa Awa Rd be sealed and widened to six metres during the development's second stage and that the intersection of Awa Awa and Marriages roads be upgraded.
It ruled that no cats be kept or housed on the development and the wetland be managed and maintained in accordance with Mr North's report, a wetland restoration plan be prepared and the site covenanted with the QEII Trust.
In a separate interview, council subdivision consents co-ordinator Mark Morris said cat-free subdivisions were "quite rare" in Tasman but valid, in this case, because of the threat to wetland birds.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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