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No to new erosion control revetment at Wainui Beach

AN erosion control application by Gisborne District Council to replace an existing revetment adjacent to Tuahine Crescent at Wainui Beach has been refused by an independent commissioner.

The council has been given permission for a second application to retain gabion baskets at 21 Wairere Road and to remove riprap adjacent to the property.

The council is seeking permission to build a 40-metre revetment running north and south in front of the Tuahine beach accessway.

It would replace an existing revetment that includes rusting railway irons driven into the sand, said to be coming to the end of its life.

The council sought retrospective consent for the Gabion baskets that were part of emergency erosion control work.

The application before independent commissioner Greg Hill at a hearing last month was opposed by a number of Wainui residents, who said the proposed revetment would restrict public access to the beach.

In his decision, Mr Hill said the rock revetment was overall inconsistent with the natural hazards and related natural character provisions of the New Zealand coastal policy statement, which discouraged hard protection structures unless it was the only practical means to protect existing infrastructure of national or regional importance.

Moreover, it had not been demonstrated that the adverse coastal process effects, particularly end effects, had been avoided or remedied or mitigated, given the NZ coastal policy statement direction to avoid increasing the risk of social, environmental and economic harm from coastal hazards.

Resource consent for the rock revetment was refused.

Consent for the retention of the gabion baskets was grantedConsent for the retention of the gabion baskets was granted. Mr Hill said this was based on the scale and time frame of the proposal.

On this basis, it was not inconsistent with relevant objectives and policies, and any effects could be avoided, remedied or mitigated by conditions of consent.

The applicant sought to remove the riprap and presented evidence as to why it was not effective as an erosion protection structure.

The consent to retain the gabion baskets is for a period of five years and is subject to a number of conditions.