Flyover cancelled and declined – final report confirms majority board decision

flyover sunbathers

News from EPA
The independent Board of Inquiry appointed to hear and decide the Basin Bridge Proposal has released its final report and decision. The Board by majority decision (3 to 1) has cancelled the New Zealand Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its applications for resource consent for the construction, operation and maintenance of State Highway 1 in Wellington City between Paterson Street and Buckle Street/Taranaki Street.

Following the release of the draft report and decision on 22 July, a total of seven comments were received from parties. The Board deliberated on the comments and made consequential amendments before producing their Final Report and Decision.

The EPA Board’s Acting Chair Dr Kevin Thompson says the amount of information before the Board of Inquiry was significant, the matters were complex, and the hearing involved a large amount of expert evidence and cross-examination. There was also a high degree of public interest in the outcome of the hearing.

Dr Thompson thanked the Chair of the Board of Inquiry, Retired Environment Judge Gordon Whiting, David Collins, James Baines, and David McMahon for their work with this proposal.

The final decision and report will be sent to all parties involved in the application. It is also available on the EPA website at http://www.epa.govt.nz/Resource-management/Basin_Bridge/Pages/Basin_Bridge.aspx

Background notes

Following comments received on the draft report and decision, the Board has:

• Altered the structure of the report, separating out the Majority Decision (now Part One) from the Alternate View of Mr McMahon (now Part Two);

• Added a preamble, including a summary table of minor or technical comments received on the Draft Report and Decision and the Board’s response;

• Made a number of changes in the Final Report and Decision after considering the comments received on the Draft Report and Decision; and

• Edited out parts of the Draft Report and Decision where there was little or no contest and where that material was not necessary to support their findings (including large sections of the Introduction section, Resource Consents section, Social and Public Health Effects section, and Appendix 2 containing the conditions).

The Basin Bridge Proposal was referred to the Board of Inquiry by the Minister for the Environment on 3 July 2013.

The Board conducted a hearing between 3 February and 4 June. It ran for 72 sitting days, over a four month period.

The Project consists of a two-lane one way bridge (the Basin Bridge) and involved:

• the proposed construction and operation of the 265m long Basin Bridge

• a new Northern Gateway Building within the Basin Reserve

• an elevated shared pedestrian and cycle way on the north side of the Basin Bridge

• a building under the bridge on Bogarts Corner, including a multi-storey planted trellis ‘green screen’ adjacent to the Grandstand Apartments

• landscaping and planting, including an extension to the National War memorial Park

• a clearway on Vivian Street and upgrades to several intersections.

The Board makes its decision independently of the EPA and of the Minister. Its decision can be appealed by parties to the High Court on points of law only, and it cannot be overturned by the Minister.

A total of 215 submissions were received, and evidence was heard from 69 witnesses and representations were made by a further 74 submitters.

Copies of the Final Report and Decision can be viewed at the following locations:

Environmental Protection Authority
EPA Head Office, Level 10, 215 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street, Wellington
Greater Wellington Regional Council, Shed 39, 2 Fryatt Quay, Pipitea, Wellington

Wellington Central Library, 65 Victoria Street, Wellington
Newtown Public Library, 13 Constable Street, Newtown, Wellington
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Public Library, 101 Kilbirnie Crescent, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Miramar Public Library, 68 Miramar Avenue, Miramar, Wellington

 

3 comments:

  1. Ellie, 7. September 2014, 18:54

    Halleluiah

     
  2. James Krall, 23. September 2014, 9:42

    This is a tragedy for Wellington. Everyday thousands upon thousands of cars clog the basin. It’s unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike. The vocal minority has won and the quiet majority are worse off. All decent public transport options require more people to live in South Wellington to make such systems viable, but this won’t happen with the traffic situation as it is. Who would move into this congestion? The overall plan, terrace tunnel to Wellington road, solves all the problems and will help create a more vibrant Wellington. The case that the bridge is not ‘aesthetic’ is subjective and this part of Wellington been a transport hub for over 50 years. We would all love a rolls royce option, but you don’t get one of those on a miners wage. Let’s do what we can afford now and if Wellington grows use some of the extra income to pay for a dream option.
    nzta, please build the rest of the project and do the flyover last. The vocal minority will disappear like they did on the bypass!

     
  3. Paul, 23. September 2014, 12:51

    @ James, your geography is a bit off. The Basin clogs the eastern suburbs traffic coming & going via the Mt Vic tunnel. I’ve recently moved to the southern suburbs (Southgate) and there is no congestion at all – just head down Wallace St on to Taranaki St and there are minimal delays morning or evening. The congestion is far less than the daily logjam at the Karori tunnel / Kelburn Viaduct / Glenmore Street that bottlenecks access to the West. Access to the southern suburbs is brilliant.
    Your final sentence needs some amendment:
    nzta, please build the rest of the project, particularly the second tunnel, assess all the available options at the Basin and you’ll find that the eyesore flyover was never actually required.

     

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