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Lloyd George Road section sizes for further discussion

DISTRICT Council staff will meet with residents of Lloyd George Road and iwi to discuss a report on whether smaller sections should be allowed in the area and whether a plan change might be needed. The council has been considering the issue of section sizes in the area for some time.

It is zoned rural lifestyle with a minimum lot size of 5000 square metres, but with a special allowance for subdivision of lots less than one hectare that existed in 1982 into two separate lots of at least 2000 square metres.

The council was told staff had commissioned a report from 4Sight Consulting Ltd to help them understand the impacts of allowing smaller sections, on freshwater quality and quantity in the Wainui Stream. That report concluded that the ecological consequences of proposed development scenarios were unlikely to be significant, relative to the health of the stream.

Their analysis led to the conclusion that a 2000 square metre lot size was feasible and would allow sustainable on-site management of wastewater, provided appropriate controls were in place.

Wider discussion scope suggestedAmber Dunn said the discussion should be wider than with just the residents. What happened in Lloyd George Road was going to affect everyone who lived along the stream. Residents on the beachfront would also feel the impacts. The council should also talk to local hapu.

Rehette Stoltz said one thing that struck her was that many properties had been subdivided below the minimum lot size. How could that happen without the council saying yes? Planning and development group manager Nedine Thatcher Swann said it was a complex situation relating to whether or not titles were pre-1982.

Mayor Meng Foon said this was why the council had obtained a comprehensive review of the situation. Graeme Thomson said this was a good opportunity to introduce the possibility of reticulation in the area. It was one where there were known to be health problems. There had been higgledy-piggledy development in the area.

Shannon Dowsing supported the suggestion to go far wider with consultation.

“I sit in my office in Pare Street and after the recent rain I can smell the stream. It is quite disgusting at times, to be honest,” he said.

Development concernOne of the negatives in the report was the effects of development on the stream. He definitely did not support the concept of going down to smaller sections. Pat Seymour said the piecemeal development that occurred had caused concern to residents.

“It is good having this material at last and it is important that it is taken to the community,” she said.

The council also needed to be careful about allowing supplementary dwellings on a site because they would get the same negative impact. Mr Foon said this was a mature conversation. The notion of environmental stewardship was important going into the future. There were many sections that were in smaller blocks already. They were already compromising the whole ecosystem there. Some people did not want to have reticulation of any sort, mainly because of the cost.