Council adopts coast development restrictions

WELLINGTON Shire councillors voted to adopt restrictions on development between settlement areas along the Wellington coast.

Council voted to adopt Amendment C71 of the Wellington Planning Scheme at its meeting on Tuesday afternoon, making permanent restrictions put in place in a moratorium in 2007.

The move brings council a step closer to ending a saga which began in 1950s, when lots were sold through vigorous marketing campaigns, including the unscrupulous targeting of immigrants.

During the 1970s it became apparent the land was unsuitable for development because of issues such as eroding coastal soils, poor conditions for effluent disposal and high quality vegetation and landscape.

Most land owners have been unable to build on their property, sparking decades of protest and calls for fair compensation.

The amendment proposes to apply permanent planning controls to prohibit development of land in the Ninety Mile Beach on inappropriate subdivisions between Golden Beach and up to and including Glomar Beach, with some exception on restructured lots in Glomar Beach.

Under the amendment, land between Golden Beach and Glomar Beach will be rezoned from low density residential and business 1 to a rural conservation zone.

The significant landscape overlay will be applied to the between settlements.

The amendment was supported, with some alteration, by an independent panel of planning experts, in an attempt by council to begin drawing the issue to a close by employing a permanent development prohibition along the subdivision area.

“The panel has supported this fundamental tenet of the amendment, because in its view there is no other plausible outcome,” the report stated.

But the panel was critical of the compensation council provided to land owners.

The panel members said the compensation scheme, with owners offered $1500 for an individual lot, did not seem to be a fair and transparent process.

The compensation scheme was outside the scope of the amendment which the panel was looking into.

Tuesday’s council meeting will begin at 1pm in the Port of Sale Civic Centre.