PCC pow­ers un­der­lined

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Trans­power’s bid to con­trol pri­vate land un­der ru­ral power lines has been scaled back by Porirua City Coun­cil. The state util­i­ties gi­ant has ac­cepted this de­spite fight­ing two coun­cils over sim­i­lar mat­ters.

Last April Trans­power pro­posed al­ter­ing Porirua’s District Plan to re­strict build­ing and land­scap­ing in a 64-me­tre-wide ‘‘cor­ri­dor’’ around its 110 kilo­volt ca­bles in Pau­ata­hanui, Whitby, Judge­ford, Paekakariki Hill Rd and Can­nons Creek.

Pub­lic out­cry led to the for­ma­tion of a landown­ers’ work­ing group, which has worked with the coun­cil to make the pro­posal more ac­cept­able. Mem­bers of the group were Alan Gray, Dianne Strugnell, An­thony McLa­gan and John Bould.

The pro­posal is now for a 24-me­tre ‘‘yard’’ where build­ing is re­stricted. No struc­ture larger than a garden shed – 10 me­tres square and 2.5m high – can be built or al­tered in the area, and even then Trans­power would be in­volved in the re­source con­sent process.

Build­ing and sub­di­vi­sion will also be re­stricted in a ‘‘cor­ri­dor’’ ex­tend­ing an­other 20m ei­ther side of the yard, or 25m for 220kv power lines. Reg­u­lar re­source con­sent scru­tiny will again be beefed up in cor­ri­dors to en­sure power lines are not af­fected and to pro­tect Trans­power’s ac­cess to the lines.

Res­i­dents ap­pear to be sat­is­fied with the mod­i­fied pro­posal – the work­ing group con­cluded they could ‘‘prob­a­bly live with’’ the re­stric­tions.

Their re­main­ing con­cern is for com­pen­sa­tion from Trans­power for re­strict­ing landown­ers’ use of their prop­erty, and retrofitting build­ings al­ready un­der pow­er­lines to con­form with Trans­power’s re­quire­ments.

Trans­power has agreed to the scaled-back pro­posal, group mem­ber Mr Gray says. This is a turn­around for the com­pany, which took two coun­cils to the En­vi­ron­ment Court af­ter they re­jected its full 64m cor­ri­dor – West­ern Bay of Plenty District Coun­cil last Au­gust and South Can­ter­bury’s Wai­mate District Coun­cil in Novem­ber.

Trans­power has also been handed back the re­spon­si­bil­ity for mon­i­tor­ing land­scap­ing work in Porirua yards, which it asked the coun­cil to over­see, says Matt Tr­lin, the coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­ment and city plan­ning man­ager.

‘‘We’re stick­ing with what we think is the sim­pler ap­proach . . . It’s really a spe­cialty area that rests with Trans­power,’’ he said.

Res­i­dents and Trans­power will have an­other chance to com­ment on the is­sue when it is pub­licly no­ti­fied mid-year.

Open door pol­icy: Ti­tahi Bay vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers Glenn Hen­der­son, Sean Malone and Jono Meadowcroft are wel­com­ing the com­mu­nity this Satur­day to an emer­gency aware­ness day or­gan­ised by Paula Birnie.

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