Plan to limit building heights

All boat ramps around the lake including at Moana, Iveagh Bay and Mitchells were closed on Monday...
Moana (bottom right) on the shores of Lake Brunner. Photo: Getty Images/File
The new combined District Plan for the West Coast will introduce residential building height restrictions for the first time in the Grey district.

Council and iwi reps from across the region have been working for the past year on the document that will roll the region's three district plans into one -- as directed by the Local Government Commission.

Currently there are no height restrictions on houses in Grey residential zones.

Buller sets a maximum of 10m before resource consent is needed and in Westland the limit is 9m in Hokitika and 10m in small settlements like Kaniere and Ross.
The draft rules for Grey still allow plenty of scope for a lofty view: someone building a new house will need resource consent for a building over 10m -- effectively three storeys high.

Few homes on the Coast would trigger that rule, although one under construction at Moana has raised eyebrows along with its soaring roofline.

The house in front of the domain overlooking the lake, towers over its neighbours and appears to be four storeys high.

Locals spoken to by the Greymouth Star say the building has blocked the view of Lake Brunner from the park and medical centre behind it, and looks out of scale with surrounding homes.

Long-term resident Brent Beadle says the owner, thought to be from Canterbury, would have had to build high to get a view of the lake over the roofs of the homes in front.

"It's a huge home with a very high pitched roof -- it's not the prettiest thing to look down on and it certainly stands out, that's for sure."

But the big house did not block the view of any homes behind it, and would likely be a one off, Mr Beadle said.

"There's no room left to build any more down there -- all the sections have gone."

TTPP senior planner Lois Easton said the current zone for Moana was residential environment in the Grey District plan.

"The only requirement is that the height in relation to boundary provisions are met -- essentially it's about shading of neighbours, and the closeness of a building to the boundary."

If people were talking about it that was a good thing, she believed.

"So often people ignore their plan zoning until they can't do something or are upset by their neighbours doing something.

"I hope that this kind of thing will make people take an interest in the plan when it comes out for feedback."

The public will have its first chance to comment on the draft plan when it comes out in January.

- by Lois Williams

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