Residents relieved as rezoning threat lifted

Troubling news. . . Mataura resident Matthew Lucassen holds the letter he received in April from the Gore District Council, advising him the council was considering rezoning the area where he and his wife Jacqueline lives from rural to industrial. Now Mr Lucassen is relieved the council has decided against the proposal. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

North Mataura residents are relieved the rural setting where they live will not be rezoned industrial.

Last week the Gore District Council announced the draft district plan due for release in August would not contain a proposal to rezone land in north Mataura from rural to industrial.

In April residents received a letter from the council advising them the council was considering rezoning the area.

The block of land where the change was proposed is about 600m wide and runs from about 207 Main St to Cardigan Bay Rd and from Cardigan Bay Rd to Boundary Creek.

Dacre and Carteret Sts, which intersect Main St, are also part of the area.

Residents, including Matthew Lucassen, Marty Taylor, Tali McLean and Phill Joostens, who spoke to The Ensign in April, were very unhappy about the proposal.

Now they are pleased the council has listened to residents.

“Common sense has prevailed and the people are listened to finally,” Mr Lucassen said.

“I am expecting some response from the council in writing to everyone in this area telling them the rezoning is off the table.”

“We can rest a bit easier knowing there’s going to be no big industrial building or pollution in our area,” Mr Taylor said.

“This is a good win for everybody,” Ms McLean said.

“We just hope that in the next 10 years they’re not going to try again,” she said.

“We get to keep our rural setting,” Mr Joostens said.

Gore district plan review committee principal adviser Matt Heale said the feedback from landowners in north Mataura was helpful and highlighted several concerns about the land being rezoned industrial.

These included losing the area’s rural character and the ability to farm the land, and the effects of industrial activity on lifestyle and amenity values due to incremental or piecemeal development.

“We will take on board the feedback and consider whether the existing rural zone should be adapted to address people’s concerns and better reflect existing activities, the density of development and the area’s character,” Mr Heale said.