Hearing backs retention of riverside baches

Monday 27 December 2004

Tongaporutu's baches are likely to stay put. The Hearings Commission of the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) yesterday recommended 25 of the 26 baches on the Tongaporutu Recreation Reserve be issued with new 10-year leases.

By The Landlord

A decision on the future of one bach, which would be too big under the terms of the new lease, was deferred for negotiations between council officers and the bach owner.

The future of the colourful row of baches on the Tongaporutu River drew a record 1366 submissions – an overwhelming majority in favour of keeping the baches.

Numerous submitters wrote of childhood memories of Tongaporutu bach holidays, playing in the sand, fishing, exploring and catching up with family and friends.

After the hearing, a jubilant Mike Brown, chairman of the Tongaporutu Bach Leaseholders' Association, was delighted the community's support for keeping the baches had been reflected in the Hearings Commission's recommendation to council.

Full council will make a final decision on the future of the baches on February 15.

"These Taranaki icons are being preserved and we expect that the community will say that common sense has been served. Once heritage is removed you can never get it back," Mr Brown said after the hearing.

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