Property News – 12 November 2021

Dam cost pressure builds

It’s ‘‘reasonably probable’’ the $164 million higher-end reforecast cost to complete the Waimea dam will be under pressure, says Waimea Water chief executive Mike Scott.

In February, Scott revealed a $29m blowout in the project and a reforecast cost to complete of $158.4m. Given ‘‘residual uncertainty’’ such as the Covid19-affected supply chain and the geology at the site, he provided an expected range for that final cost of between $148m and $164m.

Four months later, Scott said the forecast cost to complete the dam was now closer to $164m.

Waimea Water Ltd is a council-controlled organisation responsible for managing the construction, operation and maintenance of the dam in the Lee Valley, about 36km south-east of Nelson. It is a joint venture between Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd.

At the construction site this week, Scott told Stuff risks remained, some of which were beyond the control of Waimea Water, and it was ‘‘reasonably probable’’ that the $164m estimate would be under stress.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 5 November 2021)

Boulder Bank bach burns down

Police are investigating a fire that destroyed a 19th-century bach on Nelson’s Boulder Bank.

A police spokesman said its investigation into the fire on Wednesday was ongoing. No-one was injured.

A Fire and Emergency NZ spokeswoman said firefighters responded to reports of a fire on the Boulder Bank track about 11.40am. Coastguard and two fire crews were sent to the scene, and arrived when the bach was well alight.

Firefighters stayed at the scene for some time to put out hot spots after the fire was doused.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 5 November 2021)

More trees removed

Work to cut down a further 25 trees on a popular Nelson walking track is continuing.

Nelson City Council group manager of community services Andrew White said work on the second stage of tree felling on the Walters Bluff Sir Stanley Whitehead zig-zag track between Davies Drive and Atawhai Drive started on Monday.

The work was a continuation of felling that began following a period of bad weather in August that brought down trees in the area. About 25 trees would be removed over the next three weeks, depending on the weather, White said.

During this period, the track would remain closed to the public. He said there was a risk that trees could fall in windy or wet conditions. Larger logs would be left in safe positions, while the eucalyptus tree stumps would be coppiced to provide slope stability until new plantings, a mixture of native and exotic trees, could be done next winter, White said.

(Nelson Mail, Friday 5 November 2021)

‘Affordable’ homes face flooding risk

Social and affordable housing planned for central Nelson could add to financial pressures on its residents if the project goes ahead on flood-prone land, a climate lobby group warns.

Zero Carbon Nelson Tasman said the city council hadn’t communicated the rising flood risk in the city’s CBD clearly enough to the public and shouldn’t allow such construction in the flood zone without public discussion about what to do about the growing threat.

The Nelson City Council last week agreed to sell two parcels of land off Halifax St to Crown agency Kainga Ora for a potential project to build 175 homes – a mix of social and affordable housing in buildings that could range between five and eight storeys.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 6 November 2021)

Call for early upgrade of busy ‘country lane’

Developers are pushing for a planned upgrade of McShane Rd, near Richmond, to be brought forward as traffic volumes more than triple along the increasingly busy ‘‘country lane’’.

Tasman District Council transportation manager Jamie McPherson said that since 2010, the volume of traffic on McShane Rd had increased from about 1000 vehicles a day to about 3300. Truck movements had climbed from 60 a day to about 300.

Coman Construction commercial asset and compliance manager Leita McKellar and residential developer Andrew Spittal last week told councillors that a planned upgrade of the road in 2030 was too far away.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 6 November 2021)

Potential pause in progress of Nelson Plan

The Nelson City Council may have to hit pause on one of its biggest and most complicated plans, by now more than seven years in the making, thanks to upcoming Resource Management Act amendments.

The Whakamahere Whakatu Nelson Plan, meant to be the guiding resource management planning document for the Nelson region, was originally meant to be publicly notified early next year, but staff shortages mean this will now not happen until late 2022 or early 2023.

Council manager of environmental planning Maxine Day told the environment and climate committee meeting on Thursday that the delay in public notification meant the council needed to either extend the time frame of the plan, or ‘‘pause’’ the programme ‘‘while we anticipate the new legislative reforms that are coming through’’.

The Government has proposed legislation to replace the RMA. Day said this had caused a lot of uncertainty about the future of the Nelson Plan.

(Nelson Mail, Saturday 6 November 2021)

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