Scrutiny on subdivision

A concrete fence, maintenance responsibilities and power lines were hot topics during a hearing for a proposed Cromwell subdivision yesterday.

The three subjects were the focus of questioning directed at planning consultant Charlie Hughes during a meeting of the Central Otago District Council hearings panel.

Mr Hughes was presenting evidence on behalf of Summerfields Estates Ltd regarding a proposed 30-lot residential subdivision in the McNulty Rd area of Cromwell, a development a consultant employed by the council recommended be rejected.

Other queries made by the panel, chaired by independent commissioner John Lane, included the visual impact of power lines, construction of water mains and access points to the subdivision.

Panel member Terry Emmitt asked if overhead power lines would be relocated underground.

''Mr Hughes, we are trying to sell your sections - power lines in front of them are not very good.''

Mr Hughes said the developers had been given a cost by infrastructure provider Delta.

''We have had a verbal from Delta - $100,000 to put them underground.''

Questioning made it apparent power lines were a major issue, Mr Hughes said.

''I think I can say on behalf of the developer that they would underground the power line along McNulty Rd, so that takes away all the issues about that line.''

Questions also related to the visual impact of the proposed subdivision.

Mr Hughes said there was no amenity value in McNulty Rd ''save for a strip of tarmac''.

The implication was that the subdivision, with proposed planting of trees and a uniform fence along the road side of the development, would improve amenity values.

Mr Hughes said the fence was required if consent was granted, as buildings in the development would be within a building restriction line 30m from McNulty Rd.

The 2m-high concrete fence was designed to help reduce noise in the subdivision.

Cr Martin McPherson asked who would be responsible for maintaining the planted strip.

Mr Hughes said if the subdivision received a consent notice, the council could enforce maintenance.

At present, the land proposed for the development was bare.

Council planning consultant David Whitney's questions also covered the building restriction line and power lines.

In addition he discussed footpaths and the creation of one alongside McNulty Rd.

Mr Hughes said in his evidence the developers would provide a footpath if it helped mitigate any adverse effects of the subdivision, and would help lead to a successful outcome concerning consent for the subdivision.

The panel reserved its decision.

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