Wheels grind slowly on seawall consent appeal

It looks likely that the Orewa Seawall resource consent appeal process will have been underway for around a year before it is heard by the Environment Court.

The proposal for a seawall on the beach between Marine View and Kohu Street was declined consent by Auckland Council, on the advice of independent commissioners, last December and on December 22 Council lodged an appeal against its own decision.

Since then, there has been a preliminary hearing, in April, to confirm that the case can proceed (HM May 16), and a further one on July 31. At the latter hearing, the Environment Court directed that the next step is for the parties “to identify and clarify the issues needing to be addressed in the appeal”.

An Auckland Council spokesperson confirms that this work has started, and will be completed by October 10. The parties will then enter into formal mediation.

The court will reconvene in November to review the parties’ progress and set down a timetable for the hearing.

Figures released to Hibiscus Matters under the Official Information Act (HM March 14) revealed that the costs of engineering and design and legal fees to get the proposed wall to resource consent stage came to $660,000. The costs of the current proceedings to date are being sought by the Ombudsman, at this paper’s request.

The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board has made getting the wall built its number one priority.