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Big ‘no’ to wastewater plan

 

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
[email protected]

An overwhelming 96 per cent of submissions on a plan to irrigate Featherston’s wastewater to land are against the idea.

About 160 submissions were received on a South Wairarapa District Council resource consent application, which proposes to discharge effluent to 174ha of paddock on Murphy’s Line and Longwood East Rd.

There were just two submissions in support, while four were neutral on the issue.

The response to the Featherston plan dwarfs interest in similar schemes already approved for Martinborough and Greytown, for which 16 submissions were received on each.

Greater Wellington Regional Council spokesman Stephen Heath said due to the sheer volume of submissions on the Featherston application, it was unlikely they would be made public.

In the interests of transparency, a summary would be published on the regional council website within a week.

Heath said a panel of independent commissioners had been appointed to hear the application later this year.

“We produce a report for the commissioners where we address all submissions made.

“A final recommendation is made in that report based on submissions, effects, policy matters and other legislative requirements.”

Submitters will also have the chance be heard before the commissioners.

District council chief executive Paul Crimp said the hearings were set down for October 16 to 19.

The council has asked that the hearings be held in Featherston, as requested by the community, rather than Masterton as is normal practice.

Crimp said the council was reviewing the submissions, and while it was unable to change its consent application, it could make modifications.

He was pleased with the number of submissions.

“This shows the process is working in allowing those who have concerns to have these concerns heard in an independent forum.”

Residents raised concerns at public meetings over effluent spray drift affecting neighbouring properties, and potentially contaminating bore water with E.coli.

A lack of transparency from the council, the impact on property value, and the possibility of foul odours were also issues raised.

Crimp said the council has until September 21 to meet submitters who want to discuss their submissions.

After this, submitters have until October 5 to modify their submissions, if they wish.

Residents in Greytown and Martinborough also opposed earlier consents for irrigation to land schemes, which are part of the council’s goal to have 100 per cent of wastewater discharged to land by 2040.

In both towns, 11 submissions were in opposition, one was in support, and four were neutral.

The council was issued 35-year consents for Greytown and Martinborough in February 2016.

1 COMMENT

  1. Did no-one reference the Masterton waste water irrigation scheme, and the ghastly price all rate payers were lumbered with, and then several years later the key proponent complained it wasn’t working. Oh, the ironies today.

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