Green back­yard to go

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

Talks of a new road-rail ter­mi­nal are far from pos­i­tive for neigh­bour­ing res­i­dents who face a huge drop in the value of their homes.

Res­i­dents who made ‘‘risky’’ pur­chases in Toko­roa’s in­dus­trial area have en­joyed a green back­yard for more than 30 years but that is soon about to change.

A road-rail ter­mi­nal, which will be com­mu­nity owned, is set to be built in Toko­roa by March 2015.

Gill and Mal­colm Clarke were shocked when they re­turned from hol­i­day to learn the ven­ture was des­tined to be built on their back door step.

The cou­ple at­tended a meet­ing hosted by the South Waikato District Coun­cil and R J Lin­coln on Thurs­day evening where neigh­bours were in­vited to have their say.

They were two of a num­ber up­set with the lack of con­sul- tation among other things.

Mal­colm said he thought the process for such a project was to gain ap­proval from neigh­bours be­fore go­ing ahead.

‘‘Now you’ve got it all signed, sealed and de­liv­ered, and you just want us to back down.’’

The re­sponse was that the pro­posed ven­ture did not re­quire neigh­bour con­sent as it was a ‘‘per­mit­ted’’ ac­tiv­ity.

R J Lin­coln gen­eral man­ager Gavin O’Donoghue said the meet­ing was held be­cause they did not want to make en­e­mies.

He said he was more than will­ing to work with neigh­bours to agree on rea­son­able op­er­at­ing hours.




they ac­knowl­edge the need for in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ments in a town like Toko­roa.

‘‘We do need in­dus­try here, it’s just un­for­tu­nate that it has to be at our back door.’’

The cou­ple may just have to grin and bear the changes if they want to keep afloat.

Gill said mov­ing is not a fi­nan­cially vi­able op­tion now.

‘‘We con­tacted an agent, she came around and she said our house will vir­tu­ally be worth noth­ing.’’

But Mayor Neil Sin­clair said that was al­ways a risk when buy­ing in an in­dus­trial area.

He pointed out that res­i­dents were lucky the busi­ness was will­ing to hear their con­cerns.

‘‘It’s not as if an out­side or­gan­i­sa­tion has come in and said we’re just do­ing this be­cause we’re al­lowed to.’’

It was in­evitable, not to men­tion needed, he said.

‘‘ More de­vel­op­ments are tak­ing place be­cause we have to do things to live.’’


De­creas­ing value: Gill and Mal­colm Clarke’s house will be di­rectly af­fected by the new road-rail ter­mi­nal .

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