Unitary planning rules to protect the Waitemata Harbour

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Rob Thomas HeadshotMedia release – Rob Thomas – Waitemata Local Board Member,  Candidate for Waitemata and Gulf Councillor – 28 May 2013:

The Auckland Council’s draft unitary plan raises serious concerns about the future impact of a growing city on the Waitemata Harbour. The city’s population is growing at a rate of 50 new residents a day, increasing demand for high density houses and putting more pressure on the city’s stormwater system.

The waste water pipes in Auckland’s central suburbs of Parnell, Newmarket and Grey Lynn are non-separated; waste water and sewage share a single pipe. During heavy rain events heavy chemicals from the road network and sewage is discharged into the Waitemata Harbour.

Waitemata Local Board member Rob Thomas says “The current unitary plan fails to deliver stormwater management solutions and leaves the well-being of our coastal environment at the mercy of Auckland’s growing population.”

“Increasing the level of impervious surfaces in the city will create heavier storm water flows and more frequent overflows of heavy chemicals and sewage into the Waitemata Harbour.”

The Draft Unitary Plan in its current form uses the green star rating system to establish the green credentials of new multi-dwelling developments.

“The problem with the green star rating programme is new multi-dwelling developments can pick’n’choose which green features are used to achieve a green star rating. By leaving these options to chance, the council is unable to manage the effects of new developments on the city’s aged infrastructure.”

Mr Thomas says “The other key partner in this formula is Auckland Transport. As the owner of our road network they plan a vital role in storm water management. Auckland Transport cannot be precluded from their responsibilities to protect our natural environment under the unitary plan.”

“Council must use the standards contained in the unitary plan to ensure alternative solutions to storm water runoff. The solution to this problem is to make some green features compulsory. Features like green roofs, recycled stormwater tanks and swales on the road network will minimize the impact of urban intensification on the Waitemata Harbour.”

ENDS

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