Petitioners feel they have been snubbed

ANGRY: Majors Rd resident Sandra Finnie
ANGRY: Majors Rd resident Sandra Finnie

Timaru District Council has "ignored" the views of 32 Geraldine residents who petitioned to stop industrial development on residential land.

The group's petition, sent to the council before Christmas, did nothing to stop the development of an engineering company in Majors Rd, upsetting residents who signed the document.

However, the application was non-notified, therefore was not put out for public consultation.

Majors Rd resident Sandra Finnie, who signed the petition, said Timaru District Council (TDC) had agreed to inform signatories of the decision before any work would start.

However, she said they did not receive any notification. There is now a lot of anger over the "lack of democracy that has taken place over this issue", she said.

"[It's about] the way it's been managed. [Signatories] feel knee-capped over this whole thing. They are just so angry."

She said they do not object to the development, just the location of it. Signatories want answers as to why their petition was not acknowledged.

TDC district planner Peter Kloosterman said the council was sent the petition before it had received the proposal for development.

"The reason [the petition] was ignored was because they were objecting to something that hadn't been received by the council. It hadn't even been proposed at that point."

He said the engineering company also agreed it would put plans in place to mitigate its effect on neighbours, including landscaping.

"If they don't like the decision by the council they can seek a declaration from the Environment Court."

A petitioner, who declined to be named, said the result was disappointing.

"Timaru [District Council] is not listening to what people in Geraldine are saying. They say 'damn you, we'll do what we want'."

The Timaru Herald