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Twin Streams negotiates to buy more properties

Project Twin Streams starts negotiations to buy more properties

Waitakere City Council has begun consultation to purchase 37 properties along stream banks in Glen Eden. Discussions will be held with a further 19 property owners for stream restoration and a possible walk and cycleway.

Under Project Twin Streams (PTS) the Council is negotiating to purchase selected properties built in the lower parts of flood plains as part of a city-wide stormwater management programme.

The cost of the purchases will be met from funding provided by Auckland Regional Holdings and Financial Contributions, for PTS.

PTS is seeking voluntary sales and purchases and will offer a fair value for the properties. Fair value will be established by PTS and the property owners each separately engaging a valuer. The two valuations will be compared and a middle ground reached.

The Project will pay the costs of the property owners’ valuations, legal and other legitimate costs.

The properties have the effect of artificially narrowing stream channels which raises the depth and speed of floodwaters further downstream, after heavy rain. By removing the houses, PTS can allow the streams to spread out over the banks (riparian margins) during heavy rain. This will help absorb some of the flow and reduce the flood levels throughout the lower reaches of streams.

“With enough areas returned to the task that nature intended them for, we will manage stormwater effects better and reduce the flood risk. At the same time we are restoring the health of the streams and their banks and making pleasant places for people,” says Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of the Council’s City Development Committee.

Letters were delivered to the property owners this week. They will then be visited for full discussions, by small teams specially trained in assisting property owners to work their way through the proposed purchase process. This will be followed up with a letter confirming the discussions.

An information pack will be left with each property owner (and tenant where applicable). These cover information on: Project Twin Streams; stormwater issues and why the property is required; people’s legal rights and contact details for a specific person at the Council.

Further site visits and phone contact will be made until the owners are ready to begin negotiations.

A drop in day will be held in the Glen Eden Library public meeting room on Saturday 20 August 10am – 3pm for all affected property owners and others in the local area.

Local CAB managers have offered to be available for support and advice (including budgetary advice) for property owners.

PTS is part of a city-wide programme under which community groups are encouraged to work with the Council to own, restore and replant stream banks. Part of the project is also to build a network of combined cycle and walkways in the riparian margins.

These will connect with cycle and walkways in other parts of the city so that eventually large parts of the city will be laced together with these paths, which in turn connect to cycle and walk ways in Auckland City.


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