Processing of the Gore District Council’s resource consent application to build a bridge across the Mataura River, as part of its Gore Water Treatment Plant Upgrade, is currently on hold.
The Council has applied for land use consents from Environment Southland and itself, as the regulating authority, for the construction of a cable-stay bridge. The 90 metre long structure would span the river near the intersection between Church and Huron streets on the east bank, and Surrey Street on the west bank.
The bridge will carry water pipelines connecting the East Gore water treatment plant to the Jacobstown wells, as well as providing a safe link for cyclists, pedestrians and East Gore children who attend school in West Gore.
Independent planning consultant Keith Hovell, who has been engaged by the Council (as the regulator) to oversee the processing of the application, said he has been advised of changes to be made to some of the supporting documentation lodged with the application.
He understands the changes relate to the visual impacts of the bridge on the values of the Mataura River, he said.
“Given the high public interest in the project, I want people to be aware this will delay the notification of the application for a week or so.”
Mr Hovell says the Council needs to obtain land use consents under the Gore District Plan and Environment Southland Regional Water Plan.
The Council, in its role as the applicant, has requested the consent required under the District Plan be publicly notified.
Environment Southland had not determined how it would process the application it has received. However, should it decide to follow the notification procedure, it would make sense to notify both applications at the same time, Mr Hovell said.
When the notified process is used, the public has four weeks to lodge a submission on the application.
This will be followed by a formal hearing before one or more independent hearing commissioners, who will have delegated authority to make a decision on the application considered under the District Plan.
Depending on how the application to Environment Southland is processed, the same hearing could also consider it.