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Published: 2000-11-30 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has granted resource consents for a proposed subdivision in Rototuna.

The applicant, Somerset Heights Ltd, has also applied to Hamilton City Council for consents for the 107 residential lots and roading network, while the applications to Environment Waikato covered earthworks, stormwater structures and discharge, and vegetation disturbance in a high risk erosion area. Nine submissions were made to Hamilton City Council and four to Environment Waikato from neighbours, the Ecologic Foundation and Te Kotuku Whenua.

The applicant proposes to develop 13.1 hectares of land into a residential subdivision in Thomas and Gordonton Roads. To prepare the site 86,000 cubic metres of cutting and filling is required to re-contour the site, and some modification and filling will be done within the gully system of the Kirikiriroa Stream.

A permanent wetland will be constructed alongside the stream for stormwater treatment and runoff for the residential area.

The applicant said the proposed development would have no more than minor environmental effects. Consultation had been carried out with interested parties to understand their concerns and address the issues raised.

Submitters were concerned about the effect of stormwater discharges on water quality and erosion of the Kirikiriroa Stream, the habitats of plants and animals, changes in local ground and surface water flow patterns, the effects of filling gullies, the loss of rural landform and visual effects.

Environment Waikato staff said the stormwater system could be engineered to operate as intended. The Kirikiriroa gully system was stressed and had already suffered considerable modification to its gullies and waterways. Any further effects should be avoided and enhancement of the gully ecosystem should also be undertaken.

The Committee said it was aware the gully system was important as part of the Waikato River catchment, and important ecosystem in its own right. The staff recommendation for a site development and maintenance document as part of consent decisions was supported, detailing methods of dust, erosion and sediment control, stormwater pond maintenance, contingency methods for dealing with hazardous substances excavated and vegetation re-establishment.

With the exception of some minor changes the applicant had agreed to all conditions of the consents recommended in the staff report and with consultation an acceptable agreement had been reached with Te Kotuku Whenua.