Peel Forest lodge draws objections

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013

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A travellers' lodge is proposed for Peel Forest, with a resource consent hearing to be held tomorrow.

A consent is sought for accommodation for up to six guests. It will be located on an eight-hectare lot, with two further sections created in a 10ha lot off Blandswood Rd.

Eleven submissions oppose the consent, 13 give support and three are neutral.

The lodge will support tourism business Hidden Valleys New Zealand, which provides guided rafting trips and adventure tours. The accommodation will be created within an existing three-bedroom split-level dwelling on the property.

An airstrip and helicopter landing site are also proposed.

In the area there are 39 houses, mainly small-scale holiday homes.

Council officer Gemma Conlon said a travellers' lodge was a non-complying activity, however homestays were permitted, while not being hugely different.

"The only point of difference is that the owner is not sleeping within the dwelling.

"However, the owner will be present on site."

It was recommended the maximum height of buildings should be 5.5 metres and the maximum ground area of any dwelling 150 square metres. The zone requires that minimum lot sizes are 10ha.

One Blandswood Rd resident, A A Averis, opposed the application and said the existing track to the area was established illegally and had polluted the water supply.

Resident Margaret Digby and another unnamed resident both opposed the use of the airstrip, saying it would result in increased noise.

Mt Peel Station's John Acland supported the consent as it would see more people staying in the area.

Some submissions raised concerns about the lack of water supply, while others supported the growth of accommodation in the area.

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- The Timaru Herald

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