Coun­cil wants tow­ers re­moved

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JAMES PASLEY

Auck­land Coun­cil has raised con­cerns about the fu­ture of trans­mis­sion tow­ers in One­hunga.

Auck­land Coun­cil has been push­ing for the New Zealand Trans­port Agency ( NZTA) and na­tional grid op­er­a­tor Trans­power to re­move trans­mis­sion tow­ers near State High­way 20 as part of the pro­posed $1.8 bil­lion East West Link trans­port project.

The East West Link, which has been iden­ti­fied as one of the Gov­ern­ment’s roads of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance and will con­nect State High­way 1 at Sylvia Park to SH20 at One­hunga, is be­fore a board of in­quiry un­til Au­gust 25.

Along­side that, last week Mayor Phil Goff called on Trans­power to start a pro­gres­sive pro­gramme re­mov­ing old trans­mis­sion tow­ers and tak­ing lines un­der­ground, par­tic­u­larly in en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive places.

Some of Auck­land’s com­mu­ni­ties car­ried the bur­den of over­head lines dis­pro­por­tion­ately, Goff said.

‘‘I’m think­ing of One­hunga Bay where we’ve got three sets of lines go­ing across there. They’re all pretty old, they will need re­place­ment,’’ he said.

All new trans­mis­sion lines built by Trans­power within ur­ban ar­eas are placed un­der- ground, but old lines that are moved don’t have to be taken un­der­ground.

While it was ex­pen­sive Goff called on Trans­power to start putting old lines un­der­ground to im­prove the aes­thet­ics of the com­mu­nity.

Trans­power chief ex­ec­u­tive Al­i­son An­drew said the de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate them was a fi­nan­cial one.

Trans­power also told coun­cil NZTA planned to move other trans­mis­sion tow­ers be­tween Hugo John­ston Dr and SH1 rather than re­move them, sub­ject to the ap­proval of the East West Link project.

Auck­land Coun­cil­lor Denise Lee said she was sur­prised by the plans.

‘‘The con­cept of mov­ing is new. As far as I’m con­cerned it’s not good enough,’’ Lee said.

In­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Trans­power said it would cost $14 mil­lion to move the tow­ers and $19 mil­lion to put the lines un­der­ground, Lee said.

How­ever, at the East West Link in­quiry Trans­power’s man­ager of trans­for­ma­tion Roy Noble said bury­ing the lines was seven to 10 times more ex­pen­sive than over­head trans­mis­sion lines.

JAMES PASLEY/STUFF

Three sets of lines go across One­hunga Bay Re­serve near Manukau Har­bour.

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