Cardno's creek diversion a public success

Source: Cardno - www.cardno.com.au

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22 January 2014

When Cardno began work at Duck Creek, the project already had a long and contentious history.

A disagreement between a developer and the local council resulted in court proceedings, preventing work for several years at the site in Porirua City, north of Wellington, New Zealand.

In 2009, Cardno began working on a comprehensive plan for the project, which would transform a former golf course in the suburb of Whitby into a residential development.

As part of the 320-home subdivision, it was necessary to divert sections of highly valued Duck Creek, considered by many residents to be the heart of the community.

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Picture: The Duck Creek waterway was officially diverted into the new alignment on April 10 in 2013.

Due to the profound public interest, it was essential the character and ecological function of the waterway be maintained.

Just as important was keeping the community well informed about proceedings.

“Our work to enable the residential development at this location has not been without difficulty,” said Cardno project manager Dion Mead.

“It has taken time to re-establish the respect of the community after political concerns led to a moratorium on the project, which was proposed back in 2003 with the closure of Whitby Golf Course.

“In the process of developing the plan, Cardno listened seriously to all stakeholders, ensuring the community understood exactly what was proposed.

“The hard work undertaken to prepare this plan cannot be underestimated as it ultimately paved the way for a surprisingly non-eventful, publically notified consent process.”

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Picture: Cardno has worked to design a natural creek environment that doubled as a valuable and accessible community resource.

Cardno’s team of surveyors, engineering planners and landscape architects worked to design a natural creek environment that doubled as a valuable and accessible community resource.

Key issues such as flooding and ecology were addressed, while innovative methods for stormwater treatment and floodwater management were included.

There was also a strong focus on improving water quality entering the nationally significant Pauatahanui Inlet arm of Porirua Harbour.

“Wherever the stream had high quality ecology, the existing alignment and banks were maintained,” Dion said.

“As for the realigned stream, it has been co-located with a road where possible, so as to provide an expansive area of public space with multiple access options to pathways along the stream banks promoting north-south and east-west connectivity through the subdivision for the community.”

Netting surveys undertaken prior to the diversions highlighted significant numbers of native fish, including eel and kokopu, so it was important the plan create an ideal fish habitat.

A forest canopy will be created over at least 80 per cent of the riparian margins.

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Due to the combined efforts of the land owner, Cardno, Porirua City Council and the local community, construction began at Duck Creek in late 2012.

The waterway was officially diverted into the new alignment on April 10, 2013.

The significance of the event was not lost on residents, with a large gathering present to witness the first flow of water down a creek that will become a significant community asset.

Titles for the first lots are available with the construction of a second creek crossing, storm water quality ponds and an additional diversion of Duck Creek also scheduled to begin.

“It is great to see where this project is at now after all its initial problems,” Dion said.

“The fact it involved a highly scrutinised, publicly notified consent process, yet was unchallenged, was due to the integrated, holistic approach taken by the Cardno team.

“By the end of 2014, the people of Whitby will be able to walk along the banks of Duck Creek and enjoy this enhanced, regionally significant stream for all that it has.”

 

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