Cycleway ok with Utuhina Stream cycleway
Rotorua Anglers Association say their okay with the Rotorua Lakes Council plans to build a cycleway alongside the city’s Utuhina Stream.
The stream runs through the city and is a regular trout fishing haunt for locals as well as being seen as an excellent way to introduce young people and visitors to the joys of angling.
The council has applied to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which also has responsibilies around the Rotorua lakes and waterways.
Although it flows mostly through a residential area, the Utuhina Stream has suffered various levels of degradation in some areas in recent years. A number of restoration projects have been in place by a number of organisations in an effort to enhance the stream.
The Mud has raised queries with the Rotorua Lakes about the likely impact of the development of its planned cycleway on the stream. The questions are around clearing of vegetation, impact on soil and roots, and the use of solid materials, such as concrete and gravel) in developing the cycleway.
On 1 November last year, The Mud requested the following information:
1. The volume and cost of concrete used to construction cycleways.
2. The number of trees cut down during the construction of cycleways.
In addition, a question was raised as to what, if any, work has been done to study the likely impact of building cycleways adjacent to streams.
This related to an agenda item in the November "Application with Bay of Plenty Regional Council for global consent to build and maintain cycleways on Rotorua stream edges to be lodged by the end of year." (Agenda Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting 2 November 2017)
It has taken some time to finalise a response from the council.
However, the council has said, regarding the Utuhina Stream cycleway, that most of the work would be around clearing any obstructing vegetation and general tidying up of the track. Where required, "some paving materials [concrete] may be used in the Utuhina Stream portion of the cycleway"
Regarding the request to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Rotorua council’s Infrastructure Group Manager Stavros Michael provided a written statement on 22 February, as follows:
“An environmental impact assessment will be part of our application to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council for a “global consent” for Rotorua’s shared path network, and this will include assessment of materials which are being considered for use in the upgrade of the streamside pathways, including concrete and lime chip.
“Determining which material or materials are appropriate is done on a project by project basis, taking into consideration factors such as access, usability and durability and the nature of the site and surrounds as well as environmental considerations and any conditions or stipulations of consents granted by the regional council.
“Enhancing our environment is a key aim of encouraging more people to ride by creating a local biking network, so we are very aware of the need to ensure we protect sensitive environments, including streams.”
Rotorua Anglers Association club captain Geoffrey Shekell said, after discussing the plan with anglers, they had no worries about the impact of the cycleway on the waterway and surrounding areas.
Pic courtesy of http://www.cyway.nz/projects/3-utuhina-stream-link
Rotorua Lakes Council
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