Ruakura inland port submissions largely negative

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 07:56 20/01/2014
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Roland and Wendy Spirig
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
UNIMPRESSED: Roland and Wendy Spirig never thought their family home of 30 years would be neighbours to a proposed inland port.

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Roland and Wendy Spirig's Ruakura home was a place to raise their children, retire and live out the rest of their days - or at least that's what they thought.

They have lived in Percival Rd for 30 years and expected to stay 30 more, but fear Tainui Group Holdings' (TGH) proposed $3.3 billion inland port could undermine their plans.

Their concerns about noise, lighting, heavy vehicle traffic and property devaluation are outlined in a public submission opposed to the Ruakura Development Plan Change.

The plan change, lodged by Tainui-Waikato and Chedworth Properties with the Environment Protection Authority in June, would enable the companies to bypass Hamilton City Council's Proposed District Plan and begin building a 389-hectare commercial hub in Ruakura, about 3 kilometres from the city centre.

Of the 83 public submissions, 39 were opposed to the plan change and 15 opposed in part.

Only seven supported it and 15 supported in part.

The remaining 12 submissions were from individuals or groups that were either neutral, had a range of views, or no position.

Mr Spirig said that TGH has proposed to build and store shipping containers on the boundary of his property.

"There has been no consideration to the rural residential properties and the impact of a 24/7 working port. The noise and lighting, heavy truck movement plus the shunting of carriages carrying containers would be way beyond a level of considerate care to a neighbour," his submission says.

Mrs Spirig said they weren't opposed to an inland port, but felt there had been a lack of consultation with residents affected by it.

"We think it's magnificent for the Waikato; brilliant job opportunities," she said.

"But somebody could just pay us a fair amount of money for our properties and we could then make a new life. But now we're stuck."

TGH and Chedworth Properties outlined their support for the development in a joint submission.

The Waikato branch of the Property Council New Zealand also supported the plan change, saying in its submission that it would be a development of national significance, promote economic growth and create jobs.

However, an overwhelming number of submissions were from residents who said the inland port would impact negatively on their quality of life.

Ruakura Rd resident Russell Cooper said he was fighting to protect his business, lifestyle and the value of his property.

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Ruakura Residents Group spokesman William Cowie submitted several proposed amendments aimed at minimising the adverse effects of the development in the event it is approved.

The amendments include increasing the proposed setback from 100 metres to 200m; greater noise restrictions; the drafting of lighting and glare controls; and significant tree planting and bunding.

Further submissions close at 5pm on January 31.

You can view all submissions on epa.govt.nz

 

PUBLIC SUBMISSIONS

Support 7

Support part 10

Neutral 3

Range of views 7

Oppose in part 15

Oppose 39

No position 2

Total: 83

- Waikato Times

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