Worried Onaero residents seek extension of seawall

FALEATUA MALILI
Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014

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A group of Onaero residents says accelerating erosion at the coastal settlement is putting their property values and personal safety at risk.

The Onaero Residents Association wants an existing seawall to be extended as soon as possible to alleviate the problem.

Association chairman Stephen Fromont last week asked Clifton Community Board to join it in lobbying the New Plymouth District Council to get something done.

He wants the board to support a residents' association submission to the annual plan calling for either an extension to current resource consents to extend the present seawall, or for a fresh consents to be issued for a new seawall.

"Residents strongly feel that some action needs to be included in the annual plan and the long-term plan to combat this erosion," Mr Fromont said.

He was worried that if nothing was done property values could be affected.

"Based on the district council decision, if they don't do anything property values will decrease."

Mr Fromont was also concerned about the danger of falling rocks at the popular North Taranaki beach.

"On a good day you will see about 100 people down at the beach during the summer and winter," he said.

He believed if the erosion continued people would no longer have access to the Motukari Reserve.

"It will be a terrible thing to happen," he said.

Erosion has been an on-going issue at Onaero, and a 2001 Taranaki Regional Council report said the average rate of erosion over the full length of the cliffs was 0.25m to 0.3m a year, although it noted in one area about 15m to 20m had been eroded.

The report set a "trigger line" 40m away from properties which if crossed would "serve as a trigger to give the matter further consideration, but it considered the setback distance "to provide for 100 years of erosion".

Mr Fromont believed a new report prepared for the NPDC by consultants Tonkin and Taylor would include more accurate measurements of the erosion, supporting its case.

Community board chairman Ken Bedford said it would consider the residents association's deputation before deciding whether to join its submission to the NPDC on the annual plan.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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