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Eighty residents oppose developer

Residents of William Donald Dr are united in their opposition to access to a new subdivision being from their road. PHOTO/PAM GRAHAM

Access the issue for disgruntled homeowners

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Masterton District Council has a fight on its hands with the residents of William Donald Dr who oppose a reserve at the end of their cul-de-sac becoming a route into a new development.

Organisers say 80 residents are on board with the opposition.

The Times-Age reported last year residents were angry that a $35 million retirement village development on the Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park driving range land included an access road on the council reserve, near Mervyn Brown Pl and William Donald Dr.

Since then the residents have met twice and have written to the council to ask for all the notes on the development.

They’re now digesting the notes and have forwarded them to a lawyer for advice.

Earlier council strategic planning manager Tania Madden said if there was a perceived breach of district plan and if the effects were expected to be more than minor it would consult.

The residents said the council had decided the development had no effect and that allowed them to have a closed-door meeting to vote for access to happen without notification to anyone.

“I totally think that it is not the right way to do it,” resident Mike Weeks said.

A council spokesperson said an application had been received but the council did not have enough information to consider it.

“The application is on hold until we receive further information as requested.”

The residents don’t want to talk further as they’re working their way through the documents.

They argue because of the planned access effectively 70 houses are being added to their cul-de-sac.

They say it makes no sense for all the traffic to exit from William Donald Dr on to a 70km/h section of SH2 when access to the subdivision via Pragnell St or Margaret St on to Judds Rd would have traffic from the new subdivision feeding on to 50km/h roads.

They think the developer, Westwood Group, wants access on to William Donald Dr because the development will be able to be more up-market if it is associated with their cul-de-sac.

Developer Steve Pilbrow declined to comment. He has said previously an engineering report indicated the road was “more than capable” of coping with the minor increase in traffic flow from a retirement village.

He has declined to comment on the reasoning behind the location of the entrance.

One issue that has piqued the interest of the residents is the location of a fault line.

They believe the reserve is there because there is a fault line beneath it.

“They have said in the letter to us that the fault line has moved and therefore they can proceed,” Weeks says.

The residents say they aren’t against the development, they just don’t want access to be via William Donald Dr.

The council has previously said the land is a “local purpose reserve”, there to help the council “deliver and maintain infrastructure, including roads”.

Residents have previously said they chose to build on sections in the cul-de-sac because of its peace and quiet, and the beautiful ambience.

They have said they were under the impression that it would remain that way.


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