Developers have been given consent to subdivide a 140ha coastal farm and forestry property in the eastern Bay of Islands into 17 large lifestyle blocks.
The Bentzen Farms development overlooking Waipiro Bay, 18km east of Russell, includes two boatsheds, an upgraded jetty and a new boat ramp, and is subject to nearly 100 general and special conditions. Blocks range in size from 3.2ha up to 10.5ha.
The project is one of three large coastal subdivisions in the Bay of Islands, and two more further south, that are worrying Northland conservationists and environmental watchdog groups.
They are seeking to have the Government impose a moratorium on future coastal subdivisions until a review can identify suitable areas for development and national guidelines are drawn up to protect sensitive areas and outstanding landscape.
A joint hearings committee of the Far North District and Northland Regional Councils has imposed covenants on all 17 lots in the Bentzen Farms development to control the size and appearance of structures.
Conditions require replanting and landscaping of the site. More than 110ha of the former forest and farm must be planted with native vegetation and will be controlled by a protective covenant.
All buildings must be set back at least 30m from the high-water mark and 20m from any archaeological sites, with a height restriction of 4-6m on all residential buildings.
The joint council committee said the Bentzen Farm proposal, also known as Tai Awhi Awhi, represented a development concept that was "different to the traditional approach to land subdivision". Primary features include house sites that limit visual impact and retain large areas for revegetation and conservation.By Tony Gee Email Tony