How will we know our feedback is being received?
The project team will collate all the public comments and they will be provided (anonymised) alongside the developed design protocols with the Residents Associations for each bay during the next stage of the consultation process. They will be given an opportunity to circulate and provide further feedback. All comments will then be addressed as required by the consultation process conditions.
Why do we need a balustrade?
We have considered the height of the seawall to determine where there is a risk of people being injured in a fall, and the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code to provide protection from falling.
As a result, we have designed the shared path to have balustrades in some places. The balustrade design has been chosen to have as little visual impact as possible.
Will you be keeping the existing bus shelters?
This is subject to approval from Greater Wellington Regional Council, but the current designs propose retaining the existing bus shelters.
Will we still be able to access the beach?
Beach access is included in all bays, including in areas with balustrades. These have been highlighted on the plans and is one of the areas we are seeking public feedback on.
Will you be relocating the power poles on the seaward side of Mahina Bay?
The method for this has not be determined yet but there will need to be some relocation to avoid the poles clashing with the shared path.
How does the project respond to sea level rise and effects of climate change?
During previous project stages, the coastal edge design was developed using a curved, stepped, concrete seawall. The curved faces will help to deflect some waves away from the road. The path is also being designed in such a way that, if the level of the road is required to be raised in the future, the seawalls will be able to raised as well.
What other environmental protection measures are being implemented?
Beach nourishment is proposed at York Bay to mitigate the loss of beach space. This will be result in a higher level than currently exists there. We are also creating bird protection areas throughout the Eastern Bays to compensate for the loss of habitats for penguins and shoreline foragers. The seawalls will also incorporate other features such as textured surfaces and artificial concrete tidal pools.
Will the Atkinson Tree be removed?
The current design includes the removal of the Atkinson Tree.
Initial feedback on the Atkinson Tree was mixed from the community during prior engagement. The proposal put forward for the consent application involved the removal of the tree in order not to encroach further on the beach. A detailed alternatives assessment was carried out by the current project team in response to the petition addressed to Hutt City Council and no option was found that allowed for the tree to be retained. Due to it’s location, having the path move around it resulted in too much encroachment on the seaward side and raised safety concerns with it being too close to driveways on the landward side. An arborist was employed to inspect the tree and it was determined it would not survive relocation.