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Court supports redesigned Ōrewa sea wall

Environment Court releases interim decision.

Published: 29 May 2020

Updated 12 August 2020

On Monday 10 August 2020 Auckland Council received the final Environment Court decision (and related conditions), confirming that resource consent has been granted for the Ōrewa seawall application.

The council has five years to initiate physical works/construction to give effect to this resource consent and understands that this timeframe may potentially be extended to 10 years (if required). Funding for this project will be subject to decisions made under the upcoming Long-term plan.

29 May 2020

The Environment Court has released an interim decision on the proposed Ōrewa sea wall, stating “resource consents are granted” for the project. 

Released on Wednesday, the document shows the Court is supportive of Auckland Council’s redesigned proposal that features improved pedestrian access and coastal protection measures.

Environment Court Judge David Kirkpatrick, states the court is “satisfied that the amended proposal appropriately responds to both the risks associated with coastal hazards and the desirability of public access and recreation in relation to the beach, while reasonably mitigating the adverse effects on natural character and amenity.”

The court's interim decision outlines the next steps necessary to finalise the process and decision. Namely, Auckland Council must submit final consent conditions (originally provided in draft and tracked change format) to the court and interested parties (listed in the interim decision) must provide the court with comments on these conditions by 26 June.

The council acknowledges the process to obtain a resource consent for this project has taken significantly more time than anticipated. Further work by council staff, including revised project costs and associated timelines, will only be revisited if and when a final decision is received from the Court.

The court summarises their interim decision by acknowledging the numerous benefits of the proposal “including protection of the esplanade reserve from risks of natural hazards, securing public access, enhancing recreational values, other amenity values including coastal vegetation and trees.”

Once the statutory 15-day appeal period has concluded (12 June) and consent conditions are complete and filed with the court, we can expect a final decision to be released by the court.

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