This site on Formby St is proposed for development into a
28-lot subdivision. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The development of a 28-lot subdivision at Outram will
bring more people to the township, which will be good for it
socially and economically, says the Dunedin City Council
committee that has approved the rezoning of 7.7ha of rural land
for the project.
The council's hearings committee says it is confident the
concerns of the community and the committee about the
original proposal have been addressed, and it has agreed to
allow the site off Formby St to be rezoned from rural to
residential, paving the way for the subdivision.
However, it warns other landowners thinking the doors are
open to more development in Outram that the decision is not
setting a precedent, because the Formby St site has singular
features in its favour of development.
In its decision, released this week, more than two years
after the application for a private plan change was made, the
hearings committee of chairman and former city councillor
Colin Weatherall and councillors Andrew Noone and Kate
Wilson, said rezoning the area from rural to residential 5
was the most appropriate way to address residential demand in
Outram, where there were few sites available, without taking
over too much of the area's high-class soil.
The development might also help alleviate pressure to develop
areas of high-class soil and zoned residential 5 in Outram
now used for market gardens, the decision said.
If the plan change succeeds through an appeal period, the
subdivision would represent a 10% increase in the number of
homes in the township.
The committee said the applicant, Two Note Ltd, had made
several changes to its proposal, including introducing 2m
setbacks, 9m height restrictions and a rationalisation of the
The application attracted 27 submissions, with 22 of those
opposed to the proposal.
Common among concerns were the effects on the character and
amenity of Outram, its infrastructure capacity, and the
potential loss of high-quality soils.
The committee said it did not consider the ambience or
character of Outram would be adversely compromised by
additional residential activity on the periphery of the
township, and the new setback and height restrictions
addressed concerns about effects on the amenity of existing
It also did not consider the site, which was effectively
landlocked by a waterway, useful for stock grazing.
''[It is] to some extent an infill development and represents
a logical expansion of Outram.''
Having heard evidence at a hearing last year that the site
was never well used for market gardening, although potatoes
had once been grown there, and following a site visit, the
committee said it ''preferred'' the applicant's evidence the
site was not largely high-class soil.
It considered the loss of about 4.9ha of high-class soils
would be relatively minor in the context of the availability
of high-class soils on the Taieri anyway.
The developer would pay for any infrastructure upgrades
required to meet the demand from the subdivision, stormwater
runoff and waste water from the development would be managed
appropriately and the town's existing roads could cope with
the additional traffic.
While it might potentially be the case that a precedent was
set for developing land around Outram, the Formby St site had
some features that distinguished it, the committee said.
Notably, it was bounded by a natural water feature that
separated it from the remaining rural land.
''While in general terms, other landowners may be buoyed by a
positive outcome, they may not gain much traction relying on
the precedent argument.''
Skerries St resident David Cottle, who made a submission in
favour of the proposal, said he was pleased by the news
because an influx of new people would help keep Outram's
businesses, school and local community vital.
''It's got to be good for the town.''
Gordon Mockford, of Christchurch, the sole director and
shareholder of Two Note Ltd, and understood to have family
links to Outram, was unable to be contacted yesterday.
Another developer's application for a private plan change was
last year rejected by the committee because the development
would allow the spread of residential development into rural
areas at the expense of productive high-class soils when
there was no evidence of clear demand for the subdivision.
The council is presently in mediation with Balmoral
Development (Outram) Ltd, whose application to rezone 6.7ha
of rural land on the northern edge of Outram for residential
use was rejected by the committee last year.
When contacted yesterday, Balmoral developer Neville
Ferguson, of Omarama, said he had no comment about Mr