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Flood Prortection Project Approved

Flood Prortection Project Approved

On Monday Greater Wellington approved the $12.2 million Boulcott Hutt stopbank project as a part of providing a 440 year standard of flood protection to the Hutt City central business district. The project funding includes $1 million contribution from Hutt City Council.

After considering a number of alignments for the stopbank Greater Wellington approved the Boulcott Alternative alignment that will save the historic 70 year old Boulcott Golf Club.

Councillor Ian Buchanan, Chairman of the Catchment Management Committee introduced the paper at the Council meeting saying "This issue has had a long and interesting history, but the outcome speaks for itself in finding a win-win solution for all parties involved."

"This decision is a great result for Hutt City residents, the Boulcott Golf Club, and all ratepayers in the Wellington region" said Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington. "I would like to echo the thanks to HCC from our councillors, for coming to the party with a good contribution that has enabled this to be a positive decision for everyone."

GW has reached this agreement after months of sometimes heated debate over the fate of the Boulcott Golf Club. Initially the Hutt River Advisory Subcommittee recommended the Boulcott Alternative alignment to the Catchment Management Committee, which then decided upon the lowest cost Green alignment, which it recommended to Council. After an intensive debate in June's Council meeting, it was decided to let the paper lie on the table until yesterday's Council meeting. In the meantime officers from GW and HCC have been in discussions since the June meeting to find a way to bridge the funding gap of $1.5million between the two options.

The final decision of the Boulcott Alternative was approved at yesterday's Council meeting, with the $1.5 million difference between the two options being bridged by:
1. Design changes of the stopbank saving $200,000
2. Stormwater and roading improvements being funded by HCC to $700,000, and
3. The remaining $600,000 difference being split equally by GW and HCC.

The benefits of approving the Boulcott Alternative alignment are:
• retaining the 70 year old Boulcott Golf Club in playable form,
• faster implementation of these important flood protection works by avoiding contested, and potentially lengthy RMA and land acquisition statutory process,
• Uncontested land transfer from BGC to GW ensuring appropriate controls over the management and use of this land into the future, which will also involve an agreement with HCC that will register their 50% interest in the land on the city side of the stopbank,
• Ensuring the strong spirit of co-operation between GW and HCC is maintained for the timely implementation of these and future important flood protection works that reduce the risk of potentially devastating floods to Hutt City.

The total estimated budget for the Boulcott Hutt stopbank project is $12.2 million which will close the last gap in the stopbank system protecting the Hutt City centre. This stopbank along with the upgrade of the stopbank adjacent to the riverside carpark will complete the flood protection upgrade to the Hutt City centre.

This is the fourth significant works project to be initiated following approval of the Hutt River Floodplain Management Plan in 2001. In 2000 Greater Wellington adopted a 40 year timeframe to complete flood protection improvements to the Hutt Valley at a total estimated cost of $78 million in 2001.

ENDS

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