Saturday, 14 August 2010

Let's start again.

On Wednesday evening Margaret arranged for several of us, including Graham Ford (tree surgeon), to have a preliminary meeting with Jack Wormald, the new CCC Manager for the St James Ave Kerb and Channel Renewal Project. We had a useful and wide-ranging discussion about the history of the avenue, the heritage nature of the trees, the need for deep-dish gutter replacement, the various tree reports, the unsatisfactory nature of the previous CCC consultation meeting, the range of street options (including their effects on the trees), and the overall process to be followed.

While Jack is careful to remain neutral, he is keen to understand where we are coming from and to understand the various points of view of the residents. So he will be convening a larger meeting with all of us at some stage, perhaps late September or early October. Although the format is yet to be finalised, basic components rather than finalised plans will be up for discussion e.g. the design choices for the Harewood Road entrance; tree retention options; road safety issues (traffic speed, the bend); the design options for the Dalriada-to-bend segment.

Several plans incorporating ideas from the meeting will then be drawn up and a second meeting set up for consideration of these plans, hopefully to come up with a preferred option. Once a plan is agreed upon, there are still quite a few steps to be followed: it goes to the Community Board for approval, then formal community consultation/feedback, further Community Board approval, and finally through the resource consent process.

So we have quite a way to go yet, but if this preliminary meeting was anything to go by, there are encouraging signs.

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