Consent delay 'normal'

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 14:27 18/02/2013

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Kapiti Observer

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There is nothing unusual about the halted consent for the plan to top-up Waikanae River with bore water, Kapiti Coast District councillors heard last week.

Meeting Thursday, councillors quizzed staff on progress - after consenting body Greater Wellington Regional Council put the application on hold.

Infrastructure services group manager Sean Mallon said Kapiti worked very closely with GW for several years during preparation for the $14m first stage of the project.

"It's not unusual to get requests for additional information with any resource consent application, and obviously with the scale of the project itself, the number of questions also isn't particularly unusual."

This month GW wrote to the council asking 50 questions covering technical issues and submitter concerns - stopping the clock on the application. Kapiti has till February 26 to supply the answers.

Mr Mallon said the council has provided GW with a draft response to the request and would be meeting them for further discussions.

"We were looking at trying to get a hearing organised for March. That won't happen now because we've had to work through these questions so that's been pushed back to later March - we won't have a confirmed date basically until we address those . . . questions. It has meant a delay to the hearing process."

The consent would see Kapiti boost its water take from the river by a third - recharging the river downstream with bore water.

Consultation closed in December with 23 submissions: three in support, 18 in opposition and two neutral.

At the meeting last week mayor Jenny Rowan said the additional questions were part of a "very normal process".

"There's nothing extraordinary or unusual going on here."

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