Ruakura seeks action on inland port

Last updated 12:36 07/11/2012

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A group of Ruakura residents who fear being engulfed by a huge proposed inland port say they are being stonewalled by city council planning staff.

The group, which has already forced the council to overturn a district plan rule change decision easing the port's path, wants a hearing next week.

 In a letter to council chief executive Barry Harris, Ruakura Residents Group chairman Bill Cowie outlines the group's frustrations at staff's ''stonewalling'' of the group's concerns about the impact the proposed port could have.

 Mr Cowie has asked that the letter be tabled when the council next meets.

 The group comprises about 30 property owners who want council to ensure their current rural residential zoning is not changed to ''logistics'', and agree to a 40m-wide green belt and 4m bunding to limit the port's effects.

Council chief executive Barry Harris conceded staff may not have done the best possible job of handling the issues raised by the residents group but he would not recommend the issue be added to the full council agenda next week.

The group can speak during the public forum.
"I'm not proposing that the letter be tabled.

"My issue is that it's providing one potential group of submitters to the District Plan with an opportunity to seek alterations that is not available to other groups. The reality is, it's been a huge exercise and we've been going at a hundred miles an hour to do it.

It's possible we could have done a better job but we've done our best," he said.

The residents group, and others, would have the chance to seek changes once the proposed District Plan was notified, he said.

"I appreciate their concerns, but council's long term intention for that area is that it become an employment and logistics area, that's been on the cards for a while."

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- Waikato Times


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