Coun­cils need back­bone on land use

It’s a con­stant fight to save good Here­taunga Plains soils from be­ing lost for­ever un­der hous­ing.

The Orchardist - - News - By Lesley Wil­son Lesley Wil­son is pres­i­dent of the Hawke’s Bay Fruit­grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Re­cently we had the ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing re­sult of the joint-coun­cil work­ing group ac­cept­ing ev­ery rec­om­men­da­tion made in the HPUDS (Here­taunga Plains Ur­ban Devel­op­ment Strat­egy) re­view. This in­clude rec­om­mend­ing sub-di­vid­ing land that we had pre­vi­ously fought against sub­di­vi­sion and won.

To say that we had put a lot of work into try­ing to con­vince the work­ing group that there were other op­tions for hous­ing devel­op­ment, would be an un­der­state­ment. This work takes a great deal of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s time and money. So what hap­pens from here?

These rec­om­men­da­tions now go back to the re­spec­tive coun­cils for con­sid­er­a­tion and it is here that the coun­cils can show some back­bone, stop be­ing de­vel­oper driven, set up a ro­bust and sus­tain­able strat­egy, and look at the long term eco­nom­ics of Hawke’s Bay’s fu­ture.

The HPUDS re­view can be viewed here­view, it is long and wordy and takes a while to get our re­spec­tive heads around but be as­sured we will fight for the fu­ture of grow­ing in HB.

Re­cently we took sev­eral mem­bers of the Hast­ings District Coun­cil on a tour of the Here­taunga Plains, show­ing them where we be­lieve we need to pre­serve the soils and where we think hous­ing devel­op­ment could go…we of­fered solutions.

The map on this page shows starkly how much good LUC (Land Use Ca­pa­bil­ity) 1-3 land has been lost al­ready; we don’t want to con­tinue in this vein. We be­lieve it is time for a change in di­rec­tion, we are not against devel­op­ment, but not at the cost of loss of prime grow­ing soils in Hawke’s Bay.

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