Norwest News – By DANIELLE CLENT – 31 March 2017:
Housing development delays north of Auckland is no excuse to hold-up a bypass around Kumeu and Huapai, says Cameron Brewer.
The chairman of the Rodney Local Board’s Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee said the Transport for Future Urban Growth (TFUG) group needed to “get cracking” with its proposed alternative corridor from Brigham Creek to Waimauku.
TFUG is a collaborative project by Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency to work on developing transport networks to support Auckland’s new housing and business areas.
Rodney Local Board member and chairman of the board’s Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Cameron Brewer.
Brewer said TFUG needed to get on with the designation for a bypass around Kumeu and Huapai, confirm the actual route and give the community – and potentially affected property owners – certainty.
“State Highway 16, Kumeu, Riverhead, it’s struggling now. Let’s get on and come up with the solutions now and have the certainty of where the route is going to be,” the Rodney Local Board member said.
Brewer said TFUG had proposed a five-year designation for the bypass and another five years for the build.
He was concerned this would mean it would not be developed for at least 15 years.
The transport agency’s Auckland highway manager Brett Gliddon said the bypass was addressed as part of TFUG’s 30-year programme to solve issues associated with growth in Auckland’s future urban areas.
The programme was at an early stage of the planning process, he said.
The proposed road corridor was currently a dotted line on a map. It looked like the road would begin near Brigham Creek and bypass behind Kumeu/Huapai and come out at Waimauku.
Gliddon said detailed investigations would begin this year but timeframes for consent and construction were not yet known.
“These next steps will include further consultation events including with any potentially affected property owners identified though the detailed investigations.”
“Kumeu will be the size of a small New Zealand city in the next generation. It’s never going to be cheaper than to build it sooner rather than later,” Brewer said.
He said TFUG were hiding behind the fact Auckland Council had delayed more housing developments around the north-west until at least 2028 under the Future Urban Land Supply Strategy.
“That’s no excuse to delay that provision of the bypass. It’s actually an opportunity to get cracking on it,” Brewer said.
Brewer said TFUG needed to stick to the original timeframe of getting it done by 2022.
He said ideally he would want to see designation confirmed in the next two or three years, and have construction started within the next three to seven.
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