Auckland City Council Response Re: Lorne Street
AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL RESPONSE STATEMENT
11 October 2006
Re: construction on Lorne Street
Auckland City has received complaints from some retailers claiming to have been adversely affected by construction works on Lorne Street.
The businesses allege that the construction of "The Precinct", by the Kitchener Group and Mainzeal, has affected their trade.
Auckland City's general manager for transport, Dr Stephen Rainbow, says the council did everything possible to ensure that the impact of construction on the retailers was limited.
"I sympathise with the retailers who believe they have been affected by these works, but they should direct their concerns to the developer not the council.
"The resource consent was granted by two independent hearing commissioners and the council followed a robust and proper process in issuing consents, including a raft of conditions to help mitigate the impact on surrounding properties.
"It is inevitable that there will be some disruption with any major construction project, but the resource consent conditions helped to minimise this disruption."
The resource consent was granted in July 2004 on a non-notified basis because the commissioners deemed the adverse effects to be minor.
More than 45 conditions were attached to the consent, including requirements to limit the impact of demolition and construction and ensure that all work was contained within the site boundaries. The council also insisted that a traffic management plan be prepared to minimise the effects on parking, pedestrian flow and local businesses. This stipulated that the developer must consult with nearby properties about the construction and its potential impact.
Auckland City has closely monitored the construction to ensure the developer was complying with the conditions of the resource consent.
Council officers have issued several infringement notices to the developer for breaching the traffic management plan and fined the developer in March this year. At that time, the council informed the developer that any further breaches would result in an abatement notice being served.
Dr Rainbow says the council takes breaches of resource consent conditions very seriously.
"The council does not hesitate to investigate, warn and fine those who flout these rules. In this case, the council was quick to act to ensure that the developer and their contractor complied with the conditions, which were put in place to ensure minimal disruption.
"We'd encourage all developers and contractors to be good corporate citizens and comply with resource consent conditions in the interests of the public."
In addition to the monitoring of consent conditions, the council has met regularly with Lorne Street businesses to discuss and seek solutions to their concerns.
Dr Rainbow acknowledges that the development has caused some inconvenience for retailers, but says the council cannot be held responsible for this.
"Auckland City does not bear any legal liability for losses and is confident that it did everything in its power to limit the impact on retailers.
"The council always aims to balance the needs of businesses and city residents with the need to ensure that developments can proceed that help to ensure that Auckland remains a prosperous and successful city."