Auckland Council is going to seek consent to build a permanent seawall at the northern end of Ōrewa Beach between Kohu Street and Marine View.
Last week the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board approved the design that will be used when applying for resource consent to build the seawall.
The recommended design is for a 640m long seawall and includes a walkway/cycleway with six access ways to the beach of which two are all-abilities access ways.
View the seawall design in the June local board report (item 13).
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Chairperson Julia Parfitt says that the seawall concept design has evolved as a result of a six month engagement period with the community and changes have been made to it.
Design based on community feedback
“The final design reflects how people would like to use the northern end of the beach and ensures better access to this part of the beach at high tide.
“People giving feedback on the initial design were concerned about how much space the seawall would take up on the beach. The final design addresses this by moving the seawall closer to Esplanade Reserve which increases the dry high-tide area of the beach. While the reserve will be narrower, it will be five metres wide at the narrowest part.
“Also changed as a result of feedback are fewer planted areas along the seawall and all these areas will have low level coastal plants instead of trees.
“Beach access is very important to everyone and that has come through very clearly in the feedback. This has led to two extra access ways being added to the design so that people can access the beach at regular intervals all along the seawall’s walkway.”
Changes made to seawall design in response to feedback:
- Two additional access ways to bring the number of access ways up to six; additional access ways are a wheelchair accessible ramp at Remembrance Reserve and another set of stairs at Kinloch Reserve.
- Reducing the width of the Esplanade Reserve to move the seawall closer to the reserve which increases the beach’s dry high-tide area. By doing this the reserve will be five metres wide at the narrowest part.
- Fewer planted areas next to the seawall and all planted areas will consist of low level coastal plants instead of trees.
Auckland Council now expects to lodge the resource consent application in September as a result of extending the informal feedback period by several months. The council will request that the resource consent is publicly notified. This will enable people to have their say through a formal submission process that is likely to begin in November 2016. However, the actual submission period may change depending on the consent planning process which is determined once the application is lodged. The public notice for the application will specify the period within which submissions can be made.
Funding is available for the design and resource consent application. However the local board is advocating for funding for the construction of the seawall, estimated to be $5 million, as part of its local board agreement for 2016/2107.
Ōrewa Beach has also been identified in several council reports as a high priority for coastal funding with coastal renewal funding across the Auckland region amounting to $10.5 million for 2016/2017, $8.69 million for 2017/2018 and $15.1 million for 2018/2019.