Consent was recently granted for a subdivision on Katherine Mansfield Drive. This consent includes the extension of the public road, which is required to be upgraded as part of this subdivision.
We have received questions, comments, and some concern from the community as this road construction requires the removal of vegetation. The current access to the new subdivision is across a private road which is unsealed and narrow.
Here is an overview of what has happened so far and considerations taken into account by Council:
The road is to be widened on the south-eastern side and will largely follow the existing roadway to allow for the subdivision development. This approach is being taken to minimise the removal of vegetation along the roadway. This also allows trees on the north-western side to remain.
However, the trees on the south-west side do need to be removed because of their position in the future roadway, their age, and future maintenance issues which may arise. There are 11 trees in total from the forest stand (tree area) that need to be removed with the rest being preserved.
The trees being removed are not protected by the District Plan or any other planning policy relevant to subdivision consent. And they are located in a legal road, the core purpose of which is to provide access.
We assessed several options to minimise the impact on the vegetation.
Options considered for road extension
Install speed bumps on a narrow road. Resident feedback was unanimous that this was not an acceptable option.
Create a section of one-way road in this area. This was determined not to be a safe or an acceptable long-term option. To allow for sight lines, more vegetation may have to be removed.
Construction of a two-lane road allowing vehicles to meet and pass safely. This option was selected as it aligns with Waka Kotahi’s, New Zealand’s Road Safety Strategy 2020-2030 ‘Road to Zero’ which places human wellbeing at the heart of road transport planning; and presents the most fit-for-purpose and future proofed road design.
Our horticulture specialist visited the site and assessed the trees on both sides of the proposed road. He noted the trees were predominantly mature beech trees, with mixed species vegetation beneath.
The veteran tree at the southwest end of the group of trees is in poor condition with approximately 50% of the canopy (leaves and branches) and several other trees have bracket fungus present, and this can be a sign of internal decay.
Of the 11 trees planned for removal, two are dead and others showing signs of poor health.
At the City Development Committee meeting on 30 March, Councillors and members of the public spoke about the possibility of replanting seedling in the area. Council has invited the removal of these seedlings within the roped area if done so by 1 May 2022, for them to be planted on private property.
If you intend to collect seedlings, please park clear of the accessway to allow property owners to come and go. There may be construction traffic in the nearby area during the working week, so please take care.
View the report on the road extension on pages 47-50 of the 30 March City Development Committee agenda.