Plan change eases Downs development
Changes to the Timaru District plan are in store to improve the way development of the Geraldine Downs is managed.
The proposed plan change aims to enhance the area's landscape character, amenity values, natural habitats and walking and cycling facilities.
The community has taken part in a survey to determine how it wants development of the area managed.
Feedback from the survey shows that the majority of the community wants "a little bit more" development on the Geraldine Downs. However, changes are likely to limit and manage development on The Downs more intensively than in other rural zones. The area also requires financial assistance to implement a proposed ecological network and walking and cycling facilities.
The Downs is divided into three sub zones, where about 42 new houses are likely to be built. Protection of Talbot Forest has also been taken into consideration. The plan change proposes a buffer area of indigenous landscaping to be placed around the forest to protect and enhance it, effectively expanding the area and mitigating wind effects.
Geraldine Downs is located west of Geraldine's township, in an elevated area of gently rolling hill country, covering 888 hectares. Initial concerns with The Downs resulted in a landscape study of the area, commissioned in 2007.
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