The provision of what Cr Wayne Walker calls “the most significant new infrastructure on the Coast for a very long time” has been made possible by a new funding model designed to speed up housing developments.
An investment of $201 million sourced from Government and the private sector via a company called Crown Infrastructure Partners, will provide in Silverdale/Wainui for a new arterial road ($60 million), the Curley Ave Bridge ($89 million), a service reservoir ($15 million), water supply booster pump station ($10 million), sewer and pump station ($25 million) and stormwater ($2 million).
The infrastructure will allow residential housing development to be expanded over the next 30 years, providing for up to 7500 houses to be built in Wainui – which is around 5500 more than was previously possible under the Unitary Plan, given infrastructure constraints.
The announcement of the new funding was made recently, on July 23. Crown Infrastructure Partners will establish Special Purposes Vehicles (SPVs), with the long-term goal of “changing the market for infrastructure provision in NZ”, investing in road and water infrastructure instead of Councils. SPVs will be funded by development contributions and targeted rates charged to residents of the new subdivisions.
Cr Wayne Walker says he understands that the plan for the roading network to be created in Silverdale includes a new proposal for a link via a bridge across the northern motorway into Milldale in Wainui East, which he says will be “a massive undertaking”. There will also be a bridge across the upper Weiti River at Curley Ave (see map).
The first project to be funded by the Special Purposes Vehicle is in Drury, but Cr Walker says work is already underway on securing the land necessary for the Wainui infrastructure.
He says the plan will make lights at the intersection of Silverdale Street and Hibiscus Coast Highway, which have been put on Auckland Transport’s ‘to do list’ after a long battle by local residents, redundant. “The last thing you should do is put any lights in ahead of this,” Cr Walker says. “The project uses existing lights at the East Coast Rd and Hibiscus Coast Highway intersection and links Silverdale from all directions. It just doesn’t make sense to have another set of lights at a dangerous location that will bog down traffic and mobility.”
He says the Wainui work will also accelerate other transport improvements, such as walking and cycling and the bus network, giving the buses a much more direct route.
However, Silverdale resident Lorraine Sampson who has had a long involvement with trying to solve transport issues for the area, says while the planned roading improvements may be helpful for people going to and from Millwater and Wainui, they do nothing for the Village or the industrial park.
She says the money would be better spent on connecting Silverdale Village with the industrial side via a signalised intersection.
“They’re forgetting the business park is the employment hub and will provide jobs for those new residents, so proper access in and out is crucial,” Mrs Sampson says. “The first priority for funding should be projects that help existing residents and ratepayers, not the ones who haven’t moved here yet. Where there’s new development, things get done, but there’s nothing in the pot for the existing area as we struggle along.”