Clean­fill plans dumped

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By NI­CHOLAS BOY­ACK

In­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion­ers have strongly re­jected a pro­posed clean­fill on State High­way 58, de­scrib­ing the de­sign as ‘‘fun­da­men­tally flawed’’ and a dan­ger to traf­fic safety.

The de­ci­sion has de­lighted neigh­bours, who now want to know how the pro­posal got as far as it did.

Win­stone ap­plied to Porirua City Coun­cil for con­sent to op­er­ate a 13.9- hectare clean­fill (land­fill for soil, rocks and rub­ble) op­po­site Mt Ce­cil Rd, on land zoned ru­ral.

Res­i­dents claimed trucks ex­it­ing and en­ter­ing the site posed a ma­jor threat to traf­fic safety.

Po­lice traf­fic safety man­ager Donna La­ban op­posed the ap­pli­ca­tion, not­ing the area al­ready had a very high ac­ci­dent rate.

She de­scribed it as the worst high­way in the re­gion with re­cent ac­ci­dents, in­clud­ing a fa­tal­ity, hav­ing a so­cial cost of $15 mil­lion.

Po­lice ‘‘strongly dis­agreed’’ with Win­stone’s sug­gested de­sign for the in­ter­sec­tion and Ms La­ban asked com­mis­sion­ers to re­ject the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Mt Ce­cil Rd res­i­dent Jo McCready said op­po­nents had been vin­di­cated, but she has se­ri­ous con­cerns about the con­sent process.

Ex­pert wit­nesses sup­ported the de­sign of the in­ter­sec­tion and NZ Trans­port Agency gave qual­i­fied sup­port.

‘‘NZTA have been re­miss in the due care and dili­gence re­quired when con­sid­er­ing the pro­posal,’’ Mrs McCready said.

‘‘State High­way 58 has an abysmal safety record and the ques­tion needs to be asked of NZTA – how has a gov­ern­ment agency, en­trusted to en­sure safer roads, got it so wrong.’’

The hear­ing com­mis­sion­ers, who re­ferred to the ‘‘dif­fi­cult ge­om­e­try’’ of the Mt Ce­cil Rd in­ter­sec­tion, said the lo­ca­tion and con­fig­u­ra­tion of site ac­cess had the po­ten­tial to cause un­ac­cept­able traf­fic safety risks.

‘‘This risk and the con­se­quences of traf­fic ac­ci­dents at this lo­ca­tion – se­ri­ous in­jury and death – are, in our opin­ion, of such sig­nif­i­cance that it con­flicts ut­terly with the sus­tain­able man­age­ment pur­pose of the RMA,’’ the com­mis­sion­ers said.

‘‘De­spite hav­ing pur­sued this mat­ter in great de­tail in our ques­tions to wit­nesses at the hear­ing, none of the mit­i­ga­tion pro­pos­als pre­sented by Win­stone sat­is­fac­to­rily re­solved this fun­da­men­tal de­fi­ciency.’’ Win­stone has un­til Fe­bru­ary 25 to ap­peal. The clean­fill was planned as a re­place­ment for Win­stone’s Dry Creek fa­cil­ity.

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