Cromwell water tank will ruin views, say opponents

A 30,000 litre water tank proposed for a Brewery Creek section in the Cromwell Gorge is angering neighbours who say the tank will destroy their idyllic views.

Applicants Thomas and Julie Batt have applied to the Central Otago District Council's hearings panel for resource consent to locate the green water tank on property within an area of outstanding landscape value.

The site is subject to a QE11 National Trust covenant.

Four of the five submissions received for the proposal opposed it.

Brewery Creek home-owner Rodney Keillor attended a meeting of the CODC hearings panel in Alexandra this week to present his submissions against the water tank.

Mr Keillor said he and his wife moved to Brewery Creek to enjoy the area's outstanding landscape.

They believed this would be destroyed by the sight of a 30,000 litre water tank. Mr Keillor made a power-point presentation to the panel.

It showed photographed views from his home. The tank would feature in these if allowed.

"It is in full view of our house, which is somewhere we spend a lot of time as it is our leisure place. It is valued landscape, not only to us personally, but also to the general public," Mr Keillor said.

In her submissions to the panel, Mrs Batt said the proposed site was appropriate for intended use of the tank.

It provided shielding of the tank from neighbour's views, she said.

"We have taken every step to locate the tank so that it would have minimal visual impact, and we will undertake any screening necessary to hide the tank from view.

"Opponents of our application seem to be unaware that we would be well within our rights to locate the tank in a separate place of higher visibility without consent," Mrs Batt said.

She also told the panel there was an existing water tank the same size seven metres from the proposed site.

Council planning consultant David Whitney recommended the Batts' application be approved.

He said resource consent to locate the tank should be granted subject to 10 conditions.

A condition of consent should be to bury half the tank and plant screening trees.

This should be done within 60 working days of granting consent, he said.

In his written report Mr Whitney said the tank would breach rules for areas of outstanding landscape, on which there were to be no structures or buildings erected other than post and wire fences.

Despite this, he said the tank would only be visible to the public from the surface and margins of Lake Dunstan, where built development within a residential resource area could also be seen.

"The tank will not be visible from State Highway 8.

"Existing trees on the site and adjacent sites would provide some screening from certain angles, and the dark green colour of the tank is appropriate as surrounding conifers have a dark green colour," Mr Whitney said.

He stated any visual and landscape effects associated with the proposed activity would be minor in terms of views enjoyed by the public.

The panel reserved its decision about whether to grant resource consent for the tank.

It estimated to issue its decision within 15 working days.


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