Plans for the first of two proposed subdivisions in Outram
should be rejected because of the project's effect on
neighbours and concerns the site might be contaminated, a
Dunedin City Council report says.
Two Note Ltd has applied to the council for a private plan
change whereby 7.7ha of rural land in Formby St, Outram,
would be rezoned to allow 28 homes to be built.
The plan-change request was the first of two for subdivisions
in the town due to be considered by the council, as Balmoral
Developments (Outram) Ltd and an adjoining landowner also
wanted to rezone 6.7ha of rural land for a further 24 homes.
Two Note Ltd's request will be considered by the council's
hearings committee over two days beginning today.
A report by council planner Darryl Sycamore, to be considered
at the hearing, recommended the company's request be declined
because of concerns the proposal would adversely affect
neighbours, result in the loss of high-class soils, and
create problems with stormwater runoff.
It would also put more pressure on existing water
infrastructure in the town, making existing supplies
"inadequate" for household or firefighting purposes, the
There was also concern the land might be contaminated,
because of the presence of an old capped landfill "somewhere
on the site", and the site's history as a market garden.
Mr Sycamore's report said the landfill was believed to have
operated during the 1960s and 1970s, when the use of
now-prohibited agrichemicals was widespread, but its extent,
and the types of materials buried on site, were "largely
Further investigation would be needed to allow more accurate
planning, as the discovery of high levels of contamination
after consent was granted could make regulation "awkward",
the report said.
It was possible the investigation could show the site
required costly rehabilitation or management, or it could be
rendered permanently unsuitable for residential use, the
The movement of soil around the site during construction of
the subdivision, the ability of new residents to grow food,
and the effects on groundwater that could arise from
disturbing contaminants, all needed to be considered.
Concerns from some submitters the character of Outram would
be lost if the development proceeded were not supported by
The extra homes, if approved, would increase the town's size
by 10%, and "will not notably detract from the ambiance or
character of the township".
However, it was clear the new homes would mean a "significant
loss of amenity" for neighbours to the site who enjoyed rural
The subdivision would also result in the loss of high-class
Pomahaka soil, which "undoubtedly represents the city's
finest land for primary production".
"Given the finite nature of the soils, it is important to
consider and protect those soils for the needs of current and
Council staff also had "significant concerns" the site would
be susceptible to flooding, which had not been addressed.
There were also concerns increased stormwater runoff from the
extra housing could see the council in breach of its Otago
Regional Council stormwater discharge consent.
The consent's conditions required stormwater discharges to be
prevented from flooding any other person's property, and the
report warned the subdivision "may put the stormwater
discharge consent at risk of non-compliance".
The extra houses would also place more pressure on Outram's
water treatment plant, further reducing "only marginally
adequate" water supplies for household and firefighting
purposes, and requiring pipes and pumps to be upgraded.
In response, Two Note had raised the possibility of a special
consultative procedure to discuss an upgrade and a financial
contribution for the work, but council staff said Two Note
would be expected to meet all costs.
The council's hearings committee is Cr Colin Weatherall, as
chairman, and Crs Paul Hudson, Andrew Noone and Kate Wilson.
Balmoral Developments (Outram) Ltd's separate plan-change
request is pencilled in for a two-day hearing on February
13-14 next year.