Hutt River flood protection hearing panel recommends Option A
Enhanced flood protection for Lower Hutts CBD has moved a step closer following a recommendation by the Hutt River City Centre Upgrade Project Hearing Panel that Option A should go forward for final consideration by Greater Wellington Regional Council.
The formal recommendation to the council will be made by the Hutt Valley Flood Management Sub-committee (HVFMS) on 26 November and the Greater Wellington Regional Council will consider the recommendation on 9 December.
"This is a great result for Lower Hutt. The sooner we get on with providing flood protection for businesses and residents in the CBD, the better. Until we do lives and more than $1 billion of assets will remain at risk of flooding," says panel (and HVFMS Chair) Cllr Sandra Greig.
The panel made its recommendation following an extensive process of technical investigation by officials from Greater Wellington Regional Council and Hutt City Council and reflects the public's response to a comprehensive consultation programme carried out between August and September.
"Scientific and financial analysis points to moving ahead now and the public has said "get on with it"", says Cllr Greig. "We made our decision following robust debate and we're confident it's the right one. Close collaboration throughout the project between the regional council and Hutt City Council made what is a big decision easier to achieve."
Under Option A the river channel between Ewen Bridge and Melling Bridge will be widened and stopbanks enlarged in one step to provide flood protection for around 100 years. This will expand the stopbanks westward and require the purchase and ultimate removal of a range of residential and commercial property on Marsden and Pharazyn streets.
The decision by the panel is consistent with the outcome of six weeks of consultation which involved three open days, a six week static display, a week of presentations at Westfield Queensgate, distribution of more than 3000 brochures, a mail out to more than 30,000 addresses in Lower Hutt, a programme of stakeholder meetings and many individual meetings with people whose property will be affected by the flood protection programme.
The outcome was that 76 per cent of responses wanted Option A and 15 per cent Option B, with the rest wanting no change or none was specified. Other responses emphasized the desire for better amenities near the Hutt River such as parking facilities, a Daly Street promenade along the stop bank, planting and recreational opportunities in the river corridor and a pedestrian/cycle bridge across the Hutt River from Melling to the CBD stopbank.
If Greater Wellington Regional Council adopts the recommendation construction will start in about three years following detailed design and applications for consents under the Resource Management Act.
For more information: GWRC mediaphone on 021 914-266; firstname.lastname@example.org
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