Company applies for more crossings

By Alexandra Newlove

MMH chief executive Graham Wallace.
MMH chief executive Graham Wallace.

A company which riled a Ruakaka resident with a plan to drive heavy vehicles across a reserve has applied for 310 more crossings of the park each week.

But the application from Marsden Maritime Holdings - which wants to use the Marsden Cove reserve to access a boat maintenance facility planned for an adjacent site - will be put on hold while the district council decides what the primary use of the reserve should be.

MMH chief executive Graham Wallace said the initial consent for an easement catering for 40 vehicle movements each week across the Rauiri Drive reserve was misinterpreted by the council, meaning his company immediately requested an additional 310 crossing per week - likely to be staff cars. The 15m wide easement was at one end of the 67,000sq m reserve and would take up 1896sq m.

The reserve was set aside as a recreational reserve, though had not been formally designated as such. Whangarei District councillors will discuss the matter at their meeting today and looked set to consult with the public on making the area a local purpose reserve, facilitating MMH's easement application.

Ruakaka resident Margaret Hicks had submitted against the previous application, saying it would compromise the under-used park's future potential. Mr Wallace said he was hopeful the designation process would work out in the company's favour. The boat maintenance facility would create jobs, he said.

"Inevitably it will - when you have a boat haul out there's a number of businesses that choose to locate nearby - painters, fabricators, boatbuilder, all sorts of activity. This will be somewhat unique in that most boat yards in New Zealand are constrained for land ... Whereas we have vast land holdings in the area so are able to expand and accommodate significant expansion in the years to come."

Marsden Holdings initially requested approval to transport loads along the existing roads - Marsden Bay and Rauiri drives - but this was denied on the grounds it would have an adverse affect on traffic flows and the roading network.

- Northern Advocate

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