Council approves water connection

A Waitati couple are celebrating the end of a decade-long fight to secure their domestic water supply, made possible yesterday by a decision of the Dunedin City Council's infrastructure services committee.

Geoff and Faye Bate, who own and operate Arden Country House in Waitati Valley Rd, sought approval from the council to connect their bed and breakfast property to the northern reticulated water pipeline.

As they were outside the council's supply area, connection to the public supply breached policy.

But Mr and Mrs Bate told the Otago Daily Times their request to the council was a last resort, having exhausted all other options in the past 10 years.

Had their request been declined, the couple would have had to rely on the limited volume of rain water available and that would have meant the end of their business, Mrs Bate said.

"It's an amazing relief. It will be lovely to just know that you can turn the tap on and water will come out," she said.

The Bates moved to Waitati Valley Rd and opened Arden Country House 11 years ago. They had had problems with water almost ever since.

Their access to a neighbour's bore was restricted because of a personal dispute, which had involved police and the court.

Members of the council committee expressed sympathy for the Bates, although some were concerned their approval of the application would set a precedent which could have negative repercussions.

Cr Lee Vandervis said the Bates' situation was the result of a dispute between neighbours and nothing to do with the council, therefore it was inappropriate for the council to compromise the integrity of its policy.

"If we allow this, the floodgates are going to be open," he said.

Cr Jinty MacTavish was concerned about the council committing itself to supplying water to the property, particularly if the northern pipeline was decommissioned or moved.

Mayor Dave Cull said the water system was set up to serve the community and although the application posed some risk to the council, granting it would not adversely affect anyone.

A motion to approve the application was carried, supported by all except Cr Vandervis and Cr MacTavish, while Cr Teresa Stevenson abstained from voting.

Conditions imposed on Mr and Mrs Bate required them to pay all costs associated with connection to the public water supply, provide at least 30,000 litres of storage on site and pay a $5000 network contribution. Their water use will be metered and charged at a standard business rate.


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