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Future design of Motueka township up for discussion

April 29th, 2011
[by David Armstrong]

Possibly the most important document for many years to emerge from town planners about the future shape and function of Motueka has been released for all residents to study and comment on.

The Motueka West And Central Draft Plan Change was put to a public meeting and open day yesterday. (Disappointingly, only about 20 people in total attended.) Tasman District Council says the main purpose of this plan change is to enable future industrial, residential and commercial development of the Motueka township.

Policy planner Rose Biss, who is leading the Council's work on this development, says the Motueka West work would also enable new roads to be built west of High Street that would take local traffic pressure off the current congestion in the CBD. It is also possible that the new development would enable some lower-cost housing to be built.

To consider the details of the changes being proposed, it is best to view the map/plan showing it. You can download, view and print your own copy here (PDF, 600KB)

Council says West Motueka, between Pah Street and King Edward Street, provides an opportunity for significant future residential and business development in an area close to the heart of Motueka. Another part of the draft plan change concerns the rezoning to Commercial an area between Greenwood and Tudor streets, which would broaden the CBD.

A shortage of industrial sites has caused some pressure to use rural land on the Motueka Plains. In the draft plan change, new industrial sites are proposed in the area between King Edward Street and Green Lane.

As with most of the proposed plan changes, this area, currently zoned Rural 1, would remain Rural but would eventually become Light Industrial. (The plan refers to this as "Rural 1 deferred Light Industrial".) This is because services (water, sewer etc) have not been fully upgraded in west Motueka, so the new zoning will be deferred until the services are able to be provided.

A major new feature of the area, clearly seen at first glance on the map, will be the development of a greenway from Whakarewa Street towards the Motueka clock tower. The greenway would have a combined recreation and stormwater management purpose - it would enable walking and cycling paths, wetland planting, and a way of dealing with the current surface water problems in the area.

Also bordering the deferred light industrial area, the greenway and a mixed business area is a new road leading off King Edward Street close to the clocktower and curving across dividing industrial and residential areas through to near the marae. This would also connect with Green Lane and another side road to enter High Street near Wratt Street.

A Mixed Business zone would also allow for more intensive residential and large format retail developments (perhaps Mega Mitre 10?).

At Te Awhina marae, the Papakainga area would be extended along Pah Street and southward from the back of the marae to reach one of the new residential areas. Other key open spaces are planned, notably including a strip behind existing industries on the north side of King Edward Street and a stormwater retention area behind the clocktower corner.

In central Motueka a small extension of the commercial area would be provided to the north, east and south of Decks Reserve, making the area within the Greenwood Street, Tudor Street and Wilkinson Street zoned Commercial. (Decks Reserve would remain.) The intention is to allow expansion of shops and offices sideways from High Street rather than stretching ever further north and south along High Street.

One side-issue discussed at the open day was how this plan would fit with an eventual heavy traffic bypass, if the bypass (if it ever happens) were decided to cut through the area. Some thought it may be better to get that issue sorted before the town plan is developed so radically.

Most of the land involved in the development is owned by Wakatu, with a few private individuals owning the balance. It is believed that Wakatu and TDC are already in agreement with large chunks of the proposals so there should be no major holdups with mand owners.

Council is inviting feedback from any interest people on the proposals, and has provided a feedback/submission form on its website here (scroll down a bit). Initial feedback will be accepted up to May 23rd, and Council will consider these and make possible amendments to the plans.

Once Council has approved the draft plan change, it will be notified for formal public submissions. Hearings of these submissions will follow, expected to be towards the end of this year. From then, all or parts of it may proceed to action, while any appealed parts may go to the Environment Court for further hearings. The changes to the plan must then be completed within two years of notification.

Specific details of the changes to the wording of sections of the Plan can be viewed under "Explanatory Statement and Schedule" on TDC's website here

Editor's comment:
[Posted 4 May 2011]

An article written by Anna Pearson was published in the Nelson Mail on May 2nd setting out further detail. Here are the introductory sentences:

Motueka needs to sacrifice some of its prime productive land if it is to grow as a town, and "it needs to happen bloody quick", says Tasman district councillor Barry Dowler.

A significant area of land to the west of High St and a small amount around Decks Reserve about 100 hectares in total has been earmarked for residential and industrial development by the Tasman District Council in its Motueka west and central development plan. At least 80 per cent of the land is owned by Wakatu Incorporation.

Council projections showed that the town needed 635 more houses in the next 25 years, and another 44ha of retail, industrial and commercial land in the next 50 years. Under the draft plan, about 40ha is zoned light industrial, 40ha is zoned residential, and the rest is zoned mixed business and commercial.

Read the full article here »

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