OPINION: The cynicism of my years has proved little protection to uncovering the gulf between the Southland District Council's warm fuzzy public relation soothings and the reality of its proposed district plan rules.
A careful gleaning of them has revealed the council has cherry- picked a requirement to ''maintain and enhance amenity values'' from the Resource Management Act in order to deprive land owners of the right to as much as put in a beanpole in the garden let alone build a house on any rural land visible from main roads within a 25-kilometre radius of Te Anau.
The council can simply say no to anything: ''It doesn't conform to our ideas of the visual amenity but thanks for the resource fee application''.
A child's movable swing, and the associated swinging, is a discretionary activity under this provision. Which councillors knew of, cared about or supported this requirement?
Be enlightened, ask your mayor and member.
They wish to roll out this policy - it's called a Visual Amenity Landscape - over the rest of Southland. This rot is coming your way if established here.
The few of us who have gone to the trouble of making a submission will do our best at the hearings and on to the Environment Court, I guess.
But may I suggest to the silent majority, their interests would be better served by taking more care in the selection of the district's councillors and mayor.
- The Southland Times
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