Board to de­cide road­ing fu­ture

Western Leader - - HEALTH & BEAUTY - STAFF RE­PORTERS

The fu­ture of two huge Auck­land road­ing projects will be de­cided by ex­pert pan­els.

Boards of In­quiry have been ap­pointed to over­see the $700 mil­lion North­ern Cor­ri­dor project and the $1.5 bil­lion East-West Link.

The North­ern Cor­ri­dor pro­posal will com­plete Auck­land’s West­ern Ring Route, es­tab­lish­ing mo­tor­way in­ter­change con­nec­tions be­tween SH1 and SH18.

It also in­cludes ca­pac­ity and safety im­prove­ments on SH1 from Con­stel­la­tion Drive to Oteha Val­ley Rd and on SH18 be­tween SH1 and Al­bany High­way.

En­vi­ron­ment Judge Me­lanie Har­land has been ap­pointed chair­woman of the Board of In­quiry to over­see the project, along with re­source man­age­ment con­sul­tant Con­way Stewart and civil en­gi­neer Nigel Mark-Brown.

The ap­pli­ca­tion will in­volve six no­tices of re­quire­ment and 25 re­source con­sents, and has been deemed a project of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance by En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Nick Smith on rec­om­men­da­tion of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Author­ity.

A new four-lane ar­te­rial road be­tween State High­way 20, the Neilson St in­ter­change and SH1 at Mt Wellington in the cen­tre­piece of the East-West Link pro­posal.

It has also been named a project

‘‘The de­ci­sions on th­ese huge trans­port projects are crit­i­cal to Auck­land's fu­ture’’ En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Nick Smith

of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance by both Smith and Con­ser­va­tion Min­is­ter Mag­gie Barry, who is in­volved be­cause con­struc­tion would mean the recla­ma­tion of 18 hectares of the Man­gere In­let.

‘‘There is an ad­di­tional sen­si­tiv­ity for devel­op­ment projects that im­pact on the coast and es­tu­ar­ies which must be care­fully con­sid­ered along­side the trans­port needs of a grow­ing city,’’ Barry said.

Re­tired High Court Judge John Pri­estly QC will chair the Board of In­quiry for the East-West Link, along with en­vi­ron­ment man­age­ment con­sul­tant Michael Par­son­son, civil en­gi­neer Alan Bick­ers and in­de­pen­dent hear­ings com­mis­sioner Sheena Tepa­nia.

The ap­pli­ca­tion in­cludes two no­tices of re­quire­ment and 234 re­source con­sents.

Pre­vi­ous projects such as the Water­view Con­nec­tion and the Puhoi to Wells­ford high­way up­grades have also been man­aged by a Board of In­quiry.

Smith said the process would en­sure a ro­bust process, a fair say for com­mu­ni­ties and a timely de­ci­sion by the end of the year.

Two ma­jor projects aim­ing to un­clog Auck­land roads will be de­cided by boards of in­quiry.

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