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Transpower Announces Interim Route Decision

14 May 2005

Transpower Announces Interim Route Decision

Transpower has today announced its interim decision on a preferred route for the proposed 400 kV transmission line between Otahuhu and Whakamaru.

Transpower Chief Executive Dr Ralph Craven says public submissions on the interim decision are now being called for, with a final decision on the preferred route to be made by mid-July.

“In October last year, after a long investigation into both the need for a new transmission line and where it might be built, Transpower released two possible route options for public consultation,” Dr Craven said.

“Since October, feedback received from landowners and local communities has been added to the information already available from district plans, site visits, aerial mapping surveys and organisations like Federated Farmers and Department of Conservation. Together with technical studies and investigations all of this information has been used in determining the interim preferred route."

Dr Craven says information packs are being mailed to landowners/occupiers along both route options as well as to those living close to the routes and people are encouraged to make submissions.

“There is now an opportunity for affected landowners and other interested parties to contribute any other information that could influence the final route decision to be announced in mid-July 2005. From July Transpower will continue to consult with landowners and other stakeholders and will undertake further environmental and engineering investigations to determine the final alignment of the line within the route. Transpower will be seeking to negotiate access agreements and the purchase of easements from landowners."

The final decision on whether or not the proposed new line goes ahead will be made by the Electricity Commission, the industry regulator. The Commission will make its decision after considering Transpower’s proposal and alternatives to it. Interested parties will have the opportunity to contribute to both the Electricity Commission and Resource Management Act processes.

The Minister of Energy has stated his expectation that in the meantime Transpower should continue with route selection and negotiations with landowners.

ENDS

THE INTERIM ROUTE

As previously announced, underground cable will be used through the dense urban area south of Otahuhu. From the overhead termination area south of Ormiston Road, the interim preferred route follows the western option. The western route south of Hunua has also been preferred over the eastern option. The interim route then follows the existing Arapuni-Pakuranga 110 kV line to Arapuni and then through farm and forest land to the south. There is a new section through forest land to connect the western route with the eastern route south to the planned substation at Whakamaru.

Minor alterations have been made to the route at the northern end. The overhead route now stops short of the ridgeline south of Ormiston Road. The route has been widened slightly in the Brookby Ridge area to ensure concerns raised by Ardmore Airport users can be addressed. The interim route requires the complete removal of the existing Arapuni to Pakuranga line.

Additional Facts on the Interim Route decision

Length of interim overhead route

190 km

Number of landowners on the interim route

600

There are 854 land parcels on the interim route. Some properties are made up of numerous land parcels. Therefore the total number of landowners on the interim route is a smaller number - around 600.

NB. The route is typically 500 metres wide. The final easement required for the line will be a minimum of 65 metres wide. This will further reduce the number of directly affected landowners.

Number of landowners on the alternative routes

500

There are 558 land parcels on the route sections not selected. The number of individual landowners now excluded from the interim route is around 500.

Arapuni to Pakuranga 110 kV line

This line is 147 kms long and was built in the 1930s. The interim route follows this line for a total of 124 kms. The interim route requires the total removal of the Arapuni-Pakuranga line.

There are 128 land parcels which would lose the Arapuni-Pakuranga line and not get the new 400 kV line.

Towers

Around 490 new steel towers will be needed for the 400 kV line. Most will be between 40 and 60 metres high, with a small number up to 67 metres high.

The 460 existing steel towers (average height 25 metres) on the Arapuni- Pakuranga 110 kV line would all be removed.

Route selection process

All of the gathered information was divided into four categories: Environmental, Social, Cultural and Economic, with a range of aspects identified within each category. For example:

Environment; construction impacts, visual impacts and impacts on ecology and valued vegetation.

Social; tourism and recreation values, the number of dwellings affected and effects on sensitive land uses such as schools.

Cultural; tangata whenua values and archaeological sites.

Economic; impacts on aerial topdressing and property compensation costs.

Each route was divided into 15 sections and a scoring and weighting system applied to each of the aspects for each route section.

The Interim Route Decision Report is available from www.gridupgrade.co.nz

Making a submission

Written submissions on the interim route decision are now being accepted. A Project Submission Form is available from www.gridupgrade.co.nz or by phoning 0800 33 88 66.

Written submissions, and requests to make an oral submission, must be received by Transpower no later than 4.00pm on Friday 3 June.

Informal hearings to allow for oral submissions have been arranged at 9 venues on the 14th and 15th June:

Whitford:

War Memorial Pavilion, Whitford-Maraetai Road

Clevedon:

VinAlto Winery, 424 Creighton’s Road

Hunua:

Committee Room, Hunua Hall Community Centre

Ngatea:

Hauraki District Council, Orchard Road

Huntly:

Riverside Room, Civic Centre, 148 Main Street

Morrinsville:

Central Motor Lodge, 362 Thames Street

Cambridge:

Cambridge Service Centre, Waipa District Council, 23 Wilson Street,

Putaruru:

Putaruru Timber Museum, 2337 SH1

Mangakino:

Board Room, Mangakino Service Delivery Centre, Rangatira Drive.

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