Residents angry at developer's plans

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:00 11/03/2014

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Homeowners in an Appleby subdivision are preparing to fight plans by the developer for the next stage of landworks they say could threaten the rural feel of the area.

A meeting of about 25 homeowners in Appleby Hills is to be held this evening after the developer, CBH Ltd [Coastal Group] lodged a pre-application for resource consent with the Tasman District Council, to create smaller sites in the next stage of the development.

Resident Andrew Schwass said if it was allowed to go ahead it would destroy the Rural 3 zone the subdivision has.

"The current residents bought their properties on the belief it would not be developed in a way the developers are now planning," he said.

Appleby Hills is a subdivision on a 57 hectare property of Rural 3 zoned land.

The subdivision won a Tasman Nelson Environment Award in 2009 in the urban design category, for the high design standards it had set. It was recognised for its "thorough analysis of landform and ecology", to enhance natural values and maintain a largely undisturbed rural landscape. Much of the site area was left undeveloped as common land managed by the residents association.

The common land had future potential for horticulture or other productive communal uses.

Each lot owner is a member of the association, which manages water, wastewater and common land.

Mr Schwass said they all bought their properties on the assumption the sites would be between 2000 and 4000 square metres, but the developers had now applied to the council on three occasions to alter the terms of the [resource] consent. The latest application was to test the waters around the next stage of development, which was to create higher density housing through smaller sites.

Mr Schwass said it was not only the visual impact that concerned them, but increased road noise and traffic. It would mean more houses on the ridgeline and increased density had the potential to devalue existing properties.

"The main thing is that they sold it to us based on the fact we would have a nice rural lifestyle, and now they're trying to change the goalposts. If it was allowed to go ahead it would also set a dangerous precedent for other developments in the Rural 3 zone."

Developers CBH Ltd, declined to comment.

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