Regional Sports Park
As expected, the Horticultural Land Protection Society, chaired by Alan Baldock, has filed an appeal challenging the recent independent commissioners ruling that would permit the regional sports park to proceed. The Society represents several dozen orchardists and other land-focused professionals concerned about non-horticultural development of fertile and finite Plains lands. Others are expected to join the appeal as interested parties.
The broad nature of the appeal — which includes challenges to this proposed use of prime horticultural land, inadequate protection of adjacent land, and the failure to appropriately consider other alternatives as required by Section 32 of the RMA — should have the effect of blocking further construction at the site. However, it appears that Mayor Yule is searching for ways to circumvent the appeal.
Barring procedural gimmickry by the Mayor, the Court might propose mediation, which those appealing have the right to decline. Beyond that, formal hearings before the Environment Court would need to be scheduled, and these are not likely to occur until next year.
Toxic Waste Sites
The HB Regional Council has told us that there might be 3000+ “contaminated” sites in Hawke’s Bay, but they won’t tell us where they are.
As promised, BayBuzz has made a formal information request to the Regional Council, requesting identification of only those (possibly) contaminated sites that are owned by local governments; are accessible to the public in the normal course of events, creating potential exposure hazards; are possibly leaching contaminants into fresh or ground water; or have already been “rated” highest in potential risk.
New Hastings Councillor
Tania Kerr was elected to the Hastings Council, filling the seat of the deceased Deborah Turner. The Council is back to full voting strength of fifteen (including the mayor), with an able community leader who has been Chair of the Rural Community Board. It will be interesting to see how a new voice, and vote, affects Council dynamics.
Havelock North Village Plan
A draft blueprint for managing the development of Havelock North’s village centre over the next fifty years is now available for public discussion. Ideas in the plan include better access to Anderson Park, residential apartments, and re-development of areas around St. Columba’s Church, the Happy Tav, and the south end of Joll Road. This is an excellent opportunity for HN folks to weigh in on the future of their village centre.
Public consultation is also in full swing regarding the future replacement or re-development of Marineland. All reviews of the facility and ideas developed over the past fifteen years have been compiled into a single consultation document – available at the Napier Council Building and website, and Napier Library – to spark further ideas and submissions. Submissions close on November 5 and public hearings will be held on November 27 and 28.