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Land rezoned . . . The proposed Morford Estate subdivision in Hanmer Springs. The orange areas represent the proposed residential development. Image Supplied

By ROBYN BRISTOW

A 12.97 hectare block of land on the east side of Argelins Road in Hanmer Springs could soon be opened up to houses, a retirement village and preschool.

Morford Properties has successfully applied for a plan change to allow the land to be included within the town’s boundary and be rezoned from rural to residential 1H.

The plan change was publicly notified in September last year, attracting eight submissions.

A hearing for the privately requested plan change was held on March 20 this year before independent commissioner Dean Chrystal, Hurunui Mayor Marie Black and Cr Geoff Shier.

The hearing panel recommended approving it with a few adjustments, and its recommendations were approved by the Hurunui District Council last week.

The site proposal includes provision for up to 90 residential lots, mostly around 500 square metres, with larger lots along the western boundary.

A retirement village of eight townhouses, 22 villas, 20 serviced apartments and 20 care beds is also planned.

Submitters raised issues of loss of the rural, open outlook, density, the geotechnical risk, the risk of flooding, property devaluation, landscaping and storm and wastewater management.

Some were also concerned the Pitch N Putt golf facility could be lost to the development.

However, council planner Kelsey Bewley, in a report on the plan change, said the Pitch N Putt issue was a private one, not a resource management issue.

“Therefore the loss of the Pitch N Putt cannot be considered as part of the plan change assessment.”