Broad Bay cluster proposal not supported in draft plan

Proposals for the controversial housing cluster at the end of Broad Bay's Bacon St will not be supported in the draft management plan for the Harbour Cone property.

The draft, which is expected to go to the Dunedin City Council's community development committee for consideration in June, says the economic, social and environmental costs of the cluster would "far exceed any benefits".

While the concept of an exemplar of sustainable housing was laudable and needed encouraging, the Harbour Cone property was not an appropriate place for it, the draft prepared by Forest Environments Ltd consultant Rhys Millar said.

The housing plans have been the most contentious issue involving the future use of the 328ha property bought by the council for $2.6 million in 2008.

The draft plan described the financial viability of the cluster as risky, some ongoing maintenance costs not previously taken into account.

It itemised the recreational, ecological and rural values of the property, saying these values are "ultimately what limit its potential for housing development".

At a meeting in Broad Bay this month, attended by about 50 people, Mr Millar outlined broadly what was in the 70-page draft.

"Quite a few" of those present were interested in the Bacon St question, he said.

The possible sale of two other single small lots, one at the end of the formed section of Camp Rd and the other at the southern edge of the property off Sandymount Rd, has not attracted the same concern.

The draft said these sites were considered acceptable with strict design and appearance controls imposed.

They were in places where houses could be built so little of them would be seen and they would also be part of existing loose clusters of houses.

Mr Millar said governance was the other "big question".

The draft explored some options, but the council would have to make a decision on that.

People in the community had made it clear that whatever management body was chosen for the area, strong community leadership was needed within it.

The draft plan has taken about five months to produce and has involved considerable community input, including a full-day workshop and four small working groups looking at recreation, heritage and culture, biodiversity, land use and food production.

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