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City councillors have agreed in principle to allow two additional properties to have access over an existing right-of-way over part of Dunedin's Town Belt, despite concerns from some councillors that it could lead to further development in the area.
Councillors at this week's Dunedin City Council community development committee meeting considered the request for access to the easement from Lawson St, Belleknowes, across the Town Belt to 30 Lawson St and a property at 28 Lawson St/31 Bruce St.
Council staff reported their view was that an additional two or three users over the existing accessway, which one of the applicants had already been using informally for years, would have a negligible effect on the Town Belt.
Cr Kate Wilson said she was concerned about granting the easement because it would set a "dangerous precedent" as it encroached on to a reserve, while Crs Lee Vandervis and Theresa Stevenson said they were concerned it could lead to applications for consents to build more homes in the bush area.
"If I lived in Dawson St I wouldn't be thanking the council for allowing an opening to more development," Cr Vandervis said.
Cr Andrew Noone said the area was zoned residential and all the committee was doing was allowing those residents some practical access. Any consent applications would be considered in their own right, at such time as they were lodged, he said.
The recommendation to grant the application was passed eight votes to four. Crs MacTavish, Wilson, Vandervis and Stevenson voted against it.