Westfield seeks Private Plan Change for St Lukes Mall expansion

May 5th, 2009

St Lukes Mall is less than 200 metres from Meola Creek, Lyon Ave.
Here is a typical flood occurring several times a year – where the Watercare Services Edendale branch sewer overflows at Lyon Ave, and pours a torrent of stormwater (including pollutants and sewage from combined sewers) into Meola Creek, and over the grounds of adjacent schools.
a torrent of stormwater (including pollutants and sewage from combined sewers) into Meola Creek

a torrent of stormwater (including pollutants and sewage from combined sewers) into Meola Creek

This week, Westfield notified a private plan change.
From initial reading of the documents we conclude that :
  • Westfield wants to change the zoning of many residential 6a and 7b properties to business 8
  • they plan an expansion of an extra 23000 sq meters beyond their shopping mall of 35800 sq meters + carpark of 26000 sq m
  • the mall development will occur over an additional 49000 sq m (carpark plus existing residential properties)
  • they are planning for a FIVE (5) fold increase in consumption of water; and emission of  waste water and a TEN (10) fold increase in storm water – both peak and average flows
  • the existing northern carpark constructed in 2003 …appears to have inadequate stormwater disposal capacity as of now
  • Watercare Services advised that the existing Edendale Branch sewer has adequate capacity to receive the additional waste water
  • no additional stormwater would be permitted to discharge into the sewer
  • excess stormwater from the site would be directed on to adjacent road reserves…to continue along the natural course downstream of the shopping centre [ie into Meola Creek at Lyon Ave as above]
(Reference Report prepared for Westfield NZ Ltd by Tonkin and Taylor Ltd 18 November 2008)
STEPS believes:
  1. Auckland City Council should not issue approvals for extremely large scale developments such as this, in an area where their own reports frequently point out the lack of capacity of the stormwater and waste water infrastructure
  2. We challenge Watercare Services statements about adequate capacity – when we all know that waste water and stormwater overflow here many times a year
  3. Most New Zealanders will find it hard to understand that NZ’s largest city accepts this situation where raw sewage frequently flows through public parks and school grounds, and heavy metal pollutants pour into Waitemata Harbour beside [heritage protected] Te Tokaroa/ Meola Reef.
  4. It is even hard to understand how Westfield and the planners of Auckland City Council have worked for several years to develop a proposal which once again ignores the unacceptable reality of these overflows through the heart of the Mt Albert electorate.
  5. ARC, Auckland City and Watercare services need to make it a priority to upgrade the Watercare Interceptor to stop these overflows
NOTE: We understand that approval of this Private Plan change would mean that they need not seek resource consents in future, providing they comply with Business 8. We also understand that there are proposed RMA changes which would prevent private plan changes. This probably increases the urgency of the approval of the plan change for Westfield – as without it they would have to seek resource consents in future.
Any comments on or updates to the above are welcome.

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