We are also asking all hearing participants to complete a short survey to better understand their hearings experience and see where we can improve. Please click on the link here to access the survey before Tuesday 16 April. It should take approximately five minutes to complete depending on your answers. Your responses are confidential and we will not identify you. Even if you attend hearings often, your feedback is valuable to us and will help us in our drive to becoming a high-performing council. For any questions about the survey, please email Jessica Carter at email@example.com. I will email all submitters once this hearing has closed. Ngā mihi | Kind regards Tanisha
REPORT ON MLR HEARING COMPLETED 01/04/2019
Roger & I attended 1.5 days of the Hearing spread over 3.5 days to give our presentations and that of Dave Stott who had the flu. See final presentations attached inc. one by the Show ground Committee ( apologies only one map scanned so I have outlined key areas).We were well received by the Commissioners who asked us relevant questions. There was a lot of criticism of AT’s traffic modelling re the debate 2 v 4 lanes by both the community and future developers along the route. We listened to AT’s response and summing up today as follows :
1/ Traffic Modelling – AT admitted only taking Monday to Friday business hours into account and stated that tourist / weekend traffic is rarely taken into account in such traffic modelling. The Commissioners were surprised at this particularly as it had been raised by a number of submitters. The official AT response is that they are sticking to 2 lanes in phase one although all the land and earthworks for 4 lanes and pathways will be complete in phase 1 because that is all that is needed now.
2/ MLR intersections – There are likely to be two to the new commercial zone and one to the new residential zone all to the North . AT do not consider there is any certainty of these plans , despite submissions with plans already to be lodged with Council for development , but AT stated they are under no obligation to build the intersections until plans for these adjoining sites are approved in the future under the Warkworth Structure plan. AT’s lawyer stated that they have a commitment to FACILITATE a new road only , not to provide a complete traffic solution now for the future. This raised a lot of eyebrows as it demonstrates AT are working in isolation from the growth of Warkworth planned under the AUP. The Commissioners stated that the Developers wanted roading certainty now and because they were not getting it from AT was the reason that they had challenged this so strongly at the Hearing.
3/ MLR link to Western Collector now known as Western Link Road – raised by several submitters inc. Pack & Save proposed site on corner of Hudson Road especially as Western LR been planned for many years and already mostly built. AT & AC stated issues over protecting water courses and flooding in area if this should be planned. Another decision to just wait and see rather than do it now and get it right first time.
4/ Additional access to Show grounds – not favoured by Show Ground committee as will become traffic short cut and increase safety and security issues . They would prefer to keep existing one entrance with current barriers at Hudson Road traffic lights. Not contested by AT but consideration needs to be given to potential new swimming pool as AT would prefer not to have that access direct to MLR as proposed by Goatley Holdings (proposed Commercial units to North ).
5/ Pathways – AT support pathways through the show ground but still feel the need to provide pathways the full length of MLR as they will in future link to the wider pathway network – We do not think they understand the concept and importance of immediate connectivity to Warkworth otherwise they will not be used for years until further development takes place which AT consider is 15 to 20 years away
What Next – Commissioners have given AT until Monday 8th April to summarise their replies and provide certain planning & construction conditions they agreed to during the Hearing. Commissioners then have 20 working days to give their recommendations inc. another site visit . It would appear that Commissioners do not have the power to instruct AT to improve their offer to build 4 lanes , intersections etc but they can strongly recommend that they re-consider certain aspects and meaningfully discuss them with submitters. Our hope is that they do exactly that , otherwise we all have the right to Appeal but this will delay the process further so we will cross this bridge when we reach it.
Meanwhile One Warkworth/ ourselves are still in discussion with AT about a flexible tendering process to look at how much could be built within the $63m budget . The AT senior staff have indicated that they would recommend this to the AT Board with a view to building all or part in 4 lanes. We will keep pressing them for definitive answers rather than weak promises !! Regards , Roger & Martin
A Flyover video of the Puhoi to Warkworth RONS construction