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Next steps for plan change

Masterton District Council will be asked tomorrow to appoint independent resource management commissioners to oversee a plan change hearing for a retirement village proposal.

Earlier this year, Welhom Developments asked Masterton District Council to rezone about 15 hectares of rural land near the Cashmere Oaks subdivision to build the village.

About 9ha would be used for a potential retirement village, and the rest would be used for standard residential subdivision and development, Welhom Developments’ application said.

A total of 254 houses could be built on the site, with a mix of one and two-storey buildings with a maximum height of 10 metres.

The site is currently used for pastoral grazing.

The plan change process requires a hearing to be held and decisions to be made on submissions, as well as on the plan change itself.

Both independent commissioners proposed for appointment are on the list of accredited commissioners previously approved by the council: Stephen Daysh and David McMahon.

Councillors can choose to appoint them or not appoint them.

If Daysh and McMahon are not appointed, councillors will be required to prepare themselves for the role of hearings decision-makers at very short notice.

None of council’s current elected members has the required accreditation through the ‘Making Good Decisions’ programme to sit on Resource Management hearings panels.

Concerns raised in the submissions process ranged from average section sizes of 400m2 being too small, that any plan change would be “an ad hoc approach to access and connectivity”, to traffic volume and speed concerns.

The hearing is proposed for early March 2023.



Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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