Green backyard to go
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 .