Residents opposed to 10 new housing sites
Subdivision ‘would spoil Meeanee’s atmosphere’
Disgruntled Meeanee residents Susan and Stephen Rogerson are up in arms over plans to build 10 houses on land near their home – which they say will create increased traffic and sewage problems.
Mrs Rogerson feels so strongly about the plans to change Meeanee from a sleepy rural community to a bustling Napier suburb that she spoke out in front of a hearing to voice her objections.
The plans have been drawn up by Alem Developments Ltd, who made a resource consent application to subdivide 30 Gavin Black Street to create 10 new residential lots.
Mrs Rogerson is one of 14 people whose objections were brought before the hearing yesterday at city council offices in Hastings Street, Napier. But it was a close call, as a further 11 submissions of support were also considered.
“We’ve lived here for over 30 years. The access from Gavin Black Street onto Meeanee Road has poor visibility, and widening the roads would spoil the rural village atmosphere of Meeanee,” Mrs Rogerson said.
“And no residential subdivisions should be allowed in rural areas without piped stormwater and sewerage.
“Septic tanks, no matter how clean, generate copious quantities of extra water on an already wet area. Meeanee is classed as a ponding area for Napier city, and in heavy rain, Meeanee is supposed to hold as much water as possible until the pumps start.
“I have watched many times in horror as the drain outside my house has risen to overflowing because the pumps cannot cope. The proposed houses would create considerable run-off in heavy rain, which will fill the drains even more.
“And as the rest of Meeanee is low-lying we will have to cope with yet more water,” she said.
Objections were also received from the Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre Inc, and the Ministry of Education on behalf of Meeanee School, although the school’s Board of Trustees approved of it.
But support was also heard from residents and businesses including nearby Meeanee Kennels and the Bill Ward Family Trust, whose orchard lies on the boundary of the proposed subdivision.
Currently the existing site has one house, a garage and storage sheds, and is planted with leased apple trees, covering 1.62ha.
Alem Developments is making the application because they claim orcharding on a commercial basis is proving difficult because viable economic returns are no longer possible, and there is a problem with crop spray drifting to the playground of Meeanee School.
“It is intended that the newly created lots for residential living will allow a better use of the land, meet a demand for rural settlement lifestyle living, and each be of a sufficient size to ensure the rural residential character is not compromised,” their application said.
Alem Developments agree the proposed development would bring an increase in residential traffic.
But they say it would also cut down the horticultural traffic, such as workers, deliveries and pick-ups during peak hours.
The Meeanee area does not have a sewage disposal service.
While the existing site is served by a septic tank, it is proposed that any house built on the 10 lots will get its water supply from the existing 100mm bore.
Alem Developments proposes to access the subdivision site from Gavin Black Street, which also serves houses and horticultural buildings, Meeanee Kennels, Meeanee Primary School and the Meeanee Community Sports Centre.
Nearby Meeanee Speedway Club said it would only support the application if Napier City Council could ensure that no noise complaints about the speedway’s operation would be accepted from the prospective new house owners. Otherwise, president Paul Ludeman said the club would oppose the plans.
The hearing is expected to continue today.
Photo caption – OPPONENTS: Susan and her husband Stephen Rogerson, who are concerned about plans to build new houses near their home in Meeanee.
HBTODAY PICTURE: STEVEN MCNICHOLL.