22.05.2001: No to Lawrence Rd


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LEADER Tuesday May 22, 2001

No to Lawrence Rd

by Ollie Richardson

A major blow was dealt to Waihi Walkways group last week when the finance and planning committee voted not to withhold the most western section in the proposed Lawrence Road subdivision from sale.

Cr Mike Hayden had his vote recorded as against Cr John Tregidga's motion which approved the revised plan for the subdivision but declined the Walkways group request.

The group had asked the committee not to sell the westernmost section for three years so that they would have time to raise the funds to be able to buy it.

This section adjoins the historical reserve and the group had visions of using it as an extended reserve area. It would provide access to the old dredging plant site, rakeline embankment, the site of Black Bridge and the masonry dam.

Owen Morgan, secretary for the Walkways group, called it "a tremendous site, with great amenity value and potential," when he wrote to the planning and finance committee last October.

"Adding the extra land makes the reserve much more useful, improves enhancement and maintenance options, protects the many mature trees, and multiplies the amenity values." He also added, "This area lends itself well to future enhancement, including the bridging of the Waitete Stream to allow access to the dam."

A press release from the Walkways group after hearing the news said as follows:

"Waihi Walkways is pleased that historic relics from the Waihi Dredging Plant have been included in a new proposed reserve at the confluence of the Waitete Stream and Ohinemuri River.

"Walkways is however very disappointed that HDC did not support its request to extend this reserve, or to temporarily hold back from sale the last section in their proposed lifestyle block subdivision. This so that the people of Waihi could be given the opportunity to decide for themselves the value and future of this important historic area."

The community services manager, Gary Paterson, in his report to the committee points out that the excess cost of $192,000 in developing Dean Crescent needs to be recovered from the Lawrence Rd subdivision.

As the Walkway group had previously been turned down by the council last October in respect of this land, a small carpark has been built within the Dean Crescent development from which a walkway can be started to provide access to the Lawrence Road historical reserve, his report continues.

Mr Paterson also addressed the Walkway group's concern about the line of exotic trees that grace the area. He said they are not included on any land that council proposes to sell and therefore can be considered 'safe'.

These second Lawrence Road subdivision concept plans comprise only 10 sections as opposed to the 16 in the first concept plan. Advice from the real estate industry was that not all of the 16 proposed sections would sell readily and that prospective buyers would be looking for solitude.

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

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