Brittenden: Wharf Plans Disastrous For Devonport

Posted by on Jan 30, 2012 | 1 Comment

I raised this at the November meeting of the Devonport Borough Council because I believe Devonport will most likely be more affected by the expansion of the port than anyone. It shocked most who were there.

This is probably the most biggest threat to Devonport ever. It could change the whole ambience and the way we live.

The views from Devonport will be greatly impacted, especially from Stanley Point which will be only a stones throw from the western end of the development.  We will be looking directly down on the vast expanse of concrete and an industrial complex. Because of the closeness, noise volumes from the port will also increase.

With containers stacked as high as a five story building, the wonderful views we have up the harbour will be disfigured and the sightlines Devoport has to the city will be obliterated.

Also of great concern is what the impact this development will have on the tides passing through the narrowed gap.  In the opinion of those with a working knowledge of the harbour I am advised that there will be an big increase in the speed of the tides passing Devonport.  This raises issues of the effect on recreation activities and what it will do to the sand movements of our prized beaches.

On the 15th November last year, I wrote to the Chief Executive Office of the port, Tony Gibson, asking three questions;

  1.   Are Resource Consents required before the development can commence?
  2.   Has an environmental impact study been done?
  3.   Will there be public consultation?

To date I have not received a reply. This leads me to assume either total arrogance or they can’t or won’t answer – all the more reason to be concerned.

The Ports are owned 100% by the Auckland Council and I have no doubt they will want to do everything in their power to make sure this development is pushed through. Hopefully, enough people will protest for the politicians to realise it is not in their best interests to support it.

I now believe that we need to link into Heart of the City and other groups to provide a strong, cohesive voice. I have also written to our MP, Maggie Barry and contacted Cam Calder to garner their support.

Perhaps the good thing to come out of this is that we are confronting the autonomous Ports of Auckland and Auckland Council and reclaiming the harbour for all.  It may also bring about a national ports policy from central government so that the ports are not competing against each other but working co-operatively.  That way we may not need any expansion of the port of Auckland. Or any port at all. Imagine if the whole area was turned into a waterfront park!

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