Creswick Valley residents meeting over plan for ‘disastrous’ earthworks

News from Creswick Valley Residents Assn
A public meeting is to be held on Tuesday night to discuss proposed earthworks for 55 – 85 Curtis Street. This is a very significant development and has very severe implications for residents in the wider Creswick Valley area.

The Council (both Council Officers and our Ward Councillors) have been invited to attend. We intend to update residents on the latest developments and provide information on how your views can be heard before decisions are made on this application.

After all the efforts to ensure that the residents’ voice has been heard over the past years, there is a real risk that this proposal will slip under the radar with disastrous consequences. The Council needs to be left with the very clear message that the proposed earthworks are not acceptable.

Key details: Northland Memorial Community Hall, 7.30 pm, Tuesday 18 March

The Site at Curtis Street
In 2011 the owner of the Curtis Street site, Prime Property Group, applied to the Council to build a large Mega Centre. Later that year the Council tried to change the zoning from residential and open space to an industrial zoning without consultation. Successful action from residents halted this and the Council has now proposed a Business zoning specific to the site. This proposed new zoning is currently before the Environment Court with appeals from both residents and Prime Property Group.

What’s happening now?
Prime Property Group has now applied to the Council to undertake earthworks on the site. The proposal is to dump 40,000 metres³ of landfill from Petone on the site which will fill the valley floor in places to the level of Curtis Street. This would mean more than 5,000 truck loads or around 10,000 truck movements to and from the site. In addition, consent is being sought for clearance of over 2,000 square metres of vegetation including native vegetation. All these elements are well over the permitted thresholds for the current zoning and require approval by the Wellington City Council.

What’s it for?
Prime Property Group originally proposed to build a Mega Centre on the site. During the hearings for the Curtis Street Business zone, Prime Property argued for a large retail (big box) development along the lines of the Mega Centre. In a more recent development they have now applied to develop the site for residential use. The earthworks proposal does not specifically relate to either the big box development or housing.

What’s the Council’s view?
Notwithstanding numerous submissions from Residents on the many negative effects of a large industrial development, Council planning officers have determined that there are “no parties who are affected by the proposal to an extent that is more than minor”. In other words the Council is clearly indicating that there are no affected parties and the effects are not significant. This position is both unsupported by evidence and flies in the face of common sense.

Why does this affect you and what can be done?
The proposed earthworks will clearly have considerable impacts on residents and the local environment. In particular, it will pre-empt wider consideration of the site by destroying many significant environmental values that the Council’s own expert evidence identified. Council officers and our local Councillors (Andy Foster, Jo Coughlan and Simon Woolf) need to hear from residents that this process is not welcome and should not proceed. There is a formal submission process where the Council considers views – and this closes on 1 April.

You can find more information on www.cvra.org.nz. The Creswick Valley Residents’ Association has been set up to ensure residents’ concerns are heard and taken into account. We welcome new members and your support.

 

3 comments:

  1. Michael Gibson, 17. March 2014, 11:28

    I have asked the Mayor if she is happy with the way in which the powers which she has delegated are being abused.
    I hope she turns up at the meeting in order to explain!

     
  2. Michael Gibson, 18. March 2014, 5:53

    No reply from the Mayor yet – a nice email from Simon Woolf to say that he is finding out about the issue – the usual stuff from Jo Coughlan about not coming to the meeting tonight.
    Silence from A. Foster who has been responsible for the District Plan for all these years & has got it into such a mess.

     
  3. CC, 18. March 2014, 8:49

    Michael, what do you expect? Green credentials are only given voice when one wants to become a Mayor or Councillor – most sell out pretty quickly when they get to sit around the big table. Helene Ritchie appears to be the only consistent non-sellout of the current bunch.

     

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