New council data will delay bridge decision

New evidence furnished by the Gore District Council in support of its Mataura River bridge resource consent application will delay the announcement of the commissioners’ decision.

The proposed $3.7 million cable stay bridge will link the intersection of Church and Huron Sts on the river’s east bank, and Surrey St on the west and carry water pipes, as part of a $10.7 million upgrade to the council’s East Gore water plant.

Commissioners Dean Chrystal, of Christchurch, Reginald Proffit, of Gisborne, and Bonnie Mager, of Invercargill, conducted an independent hearing at the Gore District Council chambers in December last year.

At the end of the hearing the commissioners gave the council until January 29 to make a right of reply.

In the commissioners’ third minute released on February 12, hearing chairman Mr Chrystal said the right of reply also included three pieces of new evidence.

The evidence came from the council’s 3 Waters asset manager Matt Bayliss, roading manager Peter Standring and expert witness bridge engineer Daniel Crocker and discussed the alternative locations for the proposed bridge.

"The introduction of new evidence raises initially a question of natural justice and therefore in fairness to the reporting officers and submitters we intend to allow comments on those three briefs of evidence," Mr Chrystal said.

Comments were to be limited to the matters covered by the new evidence and should be sent to the council by March 3.

The commissioners would have to consider whether the new evidence and any subsequent comments received raised any further questions for them and would do this as quickly as possible after March 3, he said.

Independent consultant planner Keith Hovell said had there been no further new evidence the commissioners would have reached a verdict on the consent in three weeks.


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