Daily Archives: February 16, 2009

On engineering risk at Stadium site

He’s not wrong! Further to Paul’s post ‘ODT remiss’ this is where “The Decision” goes on engineering risk for the stadium area.

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Planning commissioners Roger Tasker, John Lumsden and John Matthews have made the decision to accept, subject to amendments, Plan Change 8 as notified.

This means the Dunedin City District Plan will contain a new Chapter 27, Stadium as it relates to the (new) Stadium Zone and (extended) Campus Zone.

The stadium site is approximately 5.5ha in size and is generally located between Anzac Avenue (SH 88 ) to the north, Ravensbourne Road, Logan Park and the Logan Point Quarry to the east, the Water of Leith to the west, and the Main South Railway line to the south.

The area is intended to provide for a purpose-built regional stadium with a capacity for up to 35,000 spectators, plus a number of associated activities.

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During the plan change hearings, Dunedin City Council (the Applicant) called on the evidence of consulting engineers David John Hamilton and Roderick (Rod) Keith Macleod.

Mr Hamilton had prepared evidence in relation to stormwater issues and flooding threats, including the existing environment, the effect of development, appropriate mitigation measures and response to submissions.

He used the terminology ‘stormwater’ to refer to water that is generated by rainfall on the site itself, and ‘flooding’ to refer to an external threat from either freshwater or sea water.

In his Executive Summary, he said:
(3.1) The proposed site is subject to flooding threats from three sources: Otago Harbour, Water of Leith and Opoho Creek;
(3.2) In my assessment the proposed minimum floor level for buildings set at 3.7m above mean sea level provides an appropriate mitigation of the impacts of flooding from all three sources including allowances for climate and sea level change; and
(3.3) Stormwater generated from the site is expected to be slightly less than that permitted under the current zoning.

He noted the site is reclaimed land that predates 1909. The existing ground level at the site varies from 2m to 3.8m with much of the site above 3.2m.

Mr Macleod had prepared evidence in relation to natural hazards and sub-surface conditions at Logan Point.

The evidence included a review of ‘Preliminary Geotechnical Investigations Report and Contamination Investigations Report’ prepared by Tonkin & Taylor Ltd (T & T), dated December 2007; the ‘additional information’ prepared by Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd (Beca), dated 8 and 22 February 2008; and the Statement of Evidence of David John Hamilton regarding District Plan Change 8.

Mr Macleod found that, “Whilst the site is at risk from: foundation liquefaction; foundation lateral spreading; tsunami events; predicted climate change effects upon groundwater levels; storm surge events; and flooding this is no different that [sic] other land in the area and can be appropriately managed.”

Subject to his concerns regarding natural hazards and foundation conditions being addressed at subsequent stages of the development (building consent), he recommended “the zone change application should not be withheld”.

He could see no reason why Plan Change 8 should be declined on geotechnical or engineering risk matters.

Mr Macleod accepted that specific design of building foundations would be required but this was consistent with the site’s current industrial zoning and consistent with that which would be required on adjacent land. Such matters could be appropriately dealt with at the detailed design stage and could be adequately addressed through the building consent process.

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The commissioners referred to Council policy planner Paul Freeland’s evidence in which he said, “Issues in respect of this matter [engineering risk] have been covered in the evidence of Messrs Hamilton and McLeod [sic]. From a planning perspective there remains little comment beyond noting that I am satisfied that the effects of these issues have been adequately considered and mitigated.”

The commissioners agreed with Mr Freeland that the expert evidence provided dealt suitably with these issues.

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In regard to Stop the Stadium Inc’s submission (see 10.0 Specific Matters Raised in Submissions), the commissioners observed that while the submission clearly indicated a list of specific concerns [including engineering risk] with the provisions of the Plan Change, “the submitter did not call evidence that dealt specifically with these issues. Accordingly, and in the absence of any further consideration by the submitter, we prefer the evidence presented by Mr Freeland, on behalf of the Council.”

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In section 8.9 (para 55) of the decision, the commissioners had this to say about site contamination: “We noted that the documentation that accompanies Plan Change 8 recognises the likelihood of contamination of the stadium site, and that this issue is controlled and managed by the provisions of the Regional Plan: Waste for Otago. We are satisfied, therefore, that any work occurring on a contaminated site would require a resource consent from the Otago Regional Council.”

Postscript: Appeals to Environment Court on the decision must be lodged by 23 February 2009.

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Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, Other, Site, Stadiums, Town planning

ODT remiss

Off to CHCH last weekend, the silly move was to take an ODT with me, because what was in the paper but yet another “concerned of Corstorphine” letter, completely ill-informed and not serving any purpose.

I’m sure the author may have some concerns about the site etc, but considering all of these issues have been argued over and over, with the irrational fears and some time genuine concerns put at ease.

Like all major construction projects there has been geotechnical reports etc done about the site. There is no “who knows what they will find when they start digging”, they know what they will find. Yes the site is reclaimed land, but in modern construction that isn’t an issue. Much of Dunedin is built on reclaimed land, the majority of downtown Wellington in built on reclaimed land. The most luxurious hotel in the world is built on reclaimed land in the middle of the Gulf, one of the most incredible airport constructions was built in the middle of a harbour – totally raised from the sea.

I fail to see what the ODT is doing in continually publishing these letters. I do however have a theory. It’s not about democracy, because the issues have been, or are being fought out. For me, it’s a little like the Bush Administration. Keep the people at a heightened state of annoyance and they will believe any rubbish that is fed to them. The ODT does not need to publish every single piece of rubbish it gets. There are NO concerns about the geophysical stability of the foundations of the stadium, so there simply was no need to publish that letter, except to keep a heightened level of disquiet in the general populous.

The ODT needs to learn that there is a responsibility in running a newspaper, and allowing the irrational fears of people to be aired in such a manner is not a public service. That letter voicing concerns is about as valid as someone writing in to proclaim the sky is falling.

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