Record response to Vincent plan

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The community has spoken.

“Record levels” of feedback have been received in response to the Central Otago District Council’s Vincent spatial plan.

A series of community engagement sessions have been hosted to address the challenges and opportunities of growth and land use in the Vincent area, which includes Alexandra, Clyde, Omakau and Ophir.

The council received 572 surveys from the community, which provided feedback on the options, showcasing how future growth could be accommodated.

A further 20 to 30 emails and letters were received with additional comments and ideas.

The plan will map out a pathway for the area over the next 30-plus years.

Council principal policy planner Ann Rodgers said three options were being considered for the Alexandra-Clyde area and there was one preferred option for the Omakau-Ophir area.

She said the Vincent Ward had a population of about 10,500 and projections suggest it will increase to 16,000 in the next 30 years.

“It equates to having to find where to put about 2500 houses in the next 30 years to help cope with projected growth.”

Each option being considered accommodates the estimated number of houses needed for the projected growth, but in different ways, she said.

Of those who provided feedback, a large portion were lifestyle and rural residents and the rest were people living in the various townships.

Those who responded were aged between 30 and 69.

Input was also received from people under the age of 20, through targeted engagement with Dunstan High School and Omakau School pupils, as well as the Central Otago Youth Council.

Council executive manager planning and environment Louise van der Voort said she was thrilled with the level of engagement from the community.

“We were really happy with the 477 responses we received on our Cromwell Masterplan Let’s Talk Options engagement process two years ago, but to receive almost 100 more surveys for the engagement on this planning process blew us away; and we thank everyone who took the time to get involved.”

Staff were now analysing survey responses and would share that feedback soon, she said.