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Stability Of Land In Hutt City

22 July 2005

Stability Of Land In Hutt City

A report prepared for Hutt City Council by geological engineering consultants Ian R Brown Associates has found that few landslips in Hutt City have occurred on sites that would have been controlled by Council’s building consent processes.

Most landslips occurred on slopes that were modified a long time ago.

Dave Kelly, General Manager Customer Services said the findings were important given suggestions that Council’s processes, or lack thereof, in some way contributed to landslips that affected a small number of properties during last years extreme weather events.

“The report is significant because our view was, and still is, that Council’s existing consent requirements are sufficient to regulate development on hillsides,” said Dave Kelly.

“There can be a tendency, when misfortune strikes, to look around for someone to blame and councils are easy targets,” said Dave Kelly.

“The report notes that any building on a hillside involves geotechnical risk and that level of risk increases with the level of the slope. Most of the Eastbourne landslips for example, were found to have occurred on ground with a slope of 40 degrees or more.”

At its meeting of 20 July the Strategy & Policy Committee agreed to undertake more extensive mapping of the topography of hill areas that may be developed for housing, and to fully all known landslips.

It is proposed to undertake an education programme for landowners in the hill suburbs to explain what hazards exist, and steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of landslips, which include the proper maintenance of of stormwater controls and maintenance of slopes exposed to the weather.

ENDS

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