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Council grapples with wastewater at Lloyd George Rd

FURTHER information will be needed before a decision is made on the minimum size of sections in Lloyd George Road area, the District Council’s environmental planning and regulations committee was told.

Strategic planning manager David Wilson said consultants MWH had completed a report on the current state of stormwater and transport infrastructure for minimum size sections of either 800 square metres or 2000. But more work needed to be done to determine the wider implications for the community.

Mr Wilson said there were anomalies between what the district plan said and what was there in practice. There was now a really wide range of section sizes in the area.

The community had given strong feedback on what they felt was an appropriate section size and it was a case now of waiting for the findings.

Mayor Meng Foon said it was not just stormwater, it was wastewater.

Mr Wilson said the next step was to assess how wastewater was managed in the area. Currently everybody was on septic tanks, as the soil substructure meant that was that the best way to continue managing intensification of housing in the area. He asked if the council be looking at an alternative. As well as wastewater and stormwater it was a case of looking at the amenity values and what was actually wanted for that area.

At the moment it was a rural lifestyle block area.

“Do we want to protect that and prevent any further intensification or do we want to intensify it and drop down to a smaller stage?" he asked.

Committee chair Pat Seymour said the horse had bolted on that one.

Andy Cranston said he had some calls about this. A recommendation to go down to 800 square metres had stirred up fears of reticulation being brought forward for the area. With sections of 800 metres there was no way they could do it with septic tanks.

Stormwater managementMr Wilson said there were ways for stormwater to be managed on 800-square-metre sections without reticulation. The calculation they needed to look at was what happened when you added wastewater and stormwater together.

“We need the experts to come back and give us the information.”

A recommendation is expected December 2016.

If the sections came down to 800 square metres there would be a need for an alternative road link through Sponge Bay Road because the junction with Oneroa Road would not be able to handle the peak volumes of traffic.

Amber Dunn said she would be interested to hear the community response. The ability to disperse the septic waste was paramount and the quality of coastal water at Wainui Beach was vital, otherwise the council risked despoiling not only Lloyd George Road but Wainui Beach.

Craig Bauld said there was a disparity between the two options, 800 square metres or 2000. If 800 proved too small would the council consider 1200 or something like that.

Mr Wilson said there was not much of a difference between 800 and 1200 but there was a jump when you started to go from that.

Mrs Seymour said there was no real push to change from 2000. Mr Wilson said that was what the majority wanted but there were some people in the area who wanted smaller sections.

Mayor Meng Foon said if the area were reticulated it might be possible to go down to 600 square metres. One issue for Ngati Oneone was that in heavy rain the sewage water flowed into the cemetery.

Mr Wilson said it was the cost of infrastructure that had prompted the study.

Mrs Seymour said during the last reticulation debate the council gave an undertaking that section sizes would not go below 800 square metres in the whole of Wainui.