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ORC Takes Prudent Approach To Lindsay Creek Flood Protection

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January 31, 2013

ORC Takes Prudent Approach To Lindsay Creek Flood Protection Proposal

The Otago Regional Council’s engineering and hazards committee has decided not to pursue a proposed flood protection project for Dunedin’s Lindsay Creek because the project costs outweigh the likely benefits to residents.

Councillors considered a proposal to use part of Chingford Park in North East Valley as a floodwater detention area. This would have been complemented by smaller-scale channel works and flood detention upstream of Forrester Park landfill.

The proposal would have had a total cost of close to $1.7 million, of which inflation-adjusted construction costs would have made up nearly $1 million.

The council decided in 2011, when adopting the 2011-12 Annual Plan and amendments to the 2009-19 Long Term Plan, to complete the Water of Leith component of the Leith Lindsay Flood Protection scheme, and defer the Lindsay Creek portion pending further investigations into options..

Committee chairman Cr David Shepherd said staff had presented a proposal where the costs and the benefits of flood mitigation work for the Lindsay Creek work might have been acceptable to the council.

The geography of the catchment and the nature of the flood risk meant that this had not been possible, Cr Shepherd said.

“This was a difficult decision to make, but it was necessary given the current economic climate, feedback from previous community consultation, and our desire to be mindful of the impact of costs on residents.”

“While the project would have provided benefit to some properties during minor flood events, it would have had little impact during a major flood,” Cr Shepherd said.

“On balance, the committee didn’t consider the project benefits sufficient to justify spending the amount of money that would have been required to carry it out.”

ORC director of environmental engineering and natural hazards Gavin Palmer said previous flood mitigation work in the catchment included the construction of a debris trap. ORC would continue with channel maintenance work to ensure flows were transported as efficiently as possible.

ENDS

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