The Horowhenua Waste Horror

Veronica Harrod reports that despite the demolition and construction waste generated by development, Horowhenua District Council does not monitor how much waste is generated, or how waste is disposed.

However Council’s chief executive David Clapperton says: “As outlined in the recent draft Waste Minimisation and Management Plan, Council officers will be investigating options for this waste stream.”

Horowhenua Council CEO, David Clapperton

Council report shows size of problem

Indications the amount of demolition and construction waste being generated has increased exponentially is demonstrated by information in Council’s draft 2017-2018 financial report.

This says 89 sub-division consents were approved this past year, compared with 83 last year. Approved sub-divisions have created 150 allotments; and 725 building consents were issued compared with 708 for the previous year.

The cost to ratepayers of demolishing the 100 year old Jack Allen House in Durham Street, Levin was $70,331.

Also likely to compound the problems associated with increasing amount of demolition and construction waste is Council’s intention to increase urban density in residential urban areas of Levin, Foxton, Foxton Beach and Shannon.

Council’s preference is to allow house sites between 500m2 and 900m2 to be subdivided to a minimum size of 250m2 and allow large-scale, integrated residential developments.

Focus on economic development

Mr Clapperton also said that while the Horowhenua Economic Development Strategy, “has a greater focus on economic development than environmental effects, maximising the sustainable productive use of our natural resources is one of the key priorities of the Strategy.”

No water tank policy

Housing development under way in Levin — where growth is extolled above all

Yet Council continues to refuse to introduce District Plan rules requiring water tanks be installed in new house builds.

In late 2015, Council officers prepared a full business case for the use of water tanks for new and existing urban residential homes but the 6 July, 2016 Council agenda states, “after various meetings held…was found to be not cost effective and was decided to handle as part of the Long Term Plan.”

But water tanks were not mentioned by Council in the 20-year Long Term Plan (LTP) or the LTP consultation document .

Instead, the Council has decided to opt for installing, “pressure reducing valves, leak detection and repair, continuous monitoring and assessment” and the establishment of a Horowhenua Water Working Party to consider water sustainability issues.

This preferred approach is despite the fact water restrictions were imposed last summer extending for five months from November 2017 until April 2018, because there was not enough water supply for the existing population.

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