26 May 2016

Alternative bid for Ashburton bottling plant

1:51 pm on 26 May 2016

Ashburton District Council has received a confirmed alternative bid for a piece of land with attached water consents.

Hundreds protested the sale of water rights in Ashburton today.

Hundreds protested the sale of water rights in Ashburton on 17 April. Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

Lot 9 in the council's business estate comes with the right to extract 45 litres of water per second from the town's aquifers for the next 30 years.

The council said the interested buyer, understood to be NZ Pure Blue, wanted to set up a water bottling plant on the site.

The potential sale caused outrage in the local community.

A council spokesperson confirmed they had received a second bid for Lot 9 in writing.

Lot 9 also has a second consent, which means it has to recharge the aquifer with 60 litres of water a second, which will be drawn from the Ashburton River.

The council will meet the initial buyer tomorrow, and expects the sale will be finalised by the end of June.