Updated 6 September 2014
The City has a mixed topography consisting of relatively flat coastal plains; peninsula headlands; remnant sea cliffs, gullies and plateaus of harbour areas and the steeper land of range foothills. Underlying these areas is a variety of soil types (volcanic ashes, sand, etc.) that present their own geological characteristics.
This land also comprises a varied mix of land uses, important landscapes, sensitive coastal margins, flood plains and a number of Significant Maori Areas and Significant Archaeological Areas.
Earthworks are an essential and inevitable part of the on-going use and management of the land resource in the City. Earthworks have the potential to:
- Increase erosion and sediment run-off (including sediment loadings on to and into Council infrastructure and assets);
- Undermine the stability of adjoining properties and infrastructure;
- Increase flood risk through alteration of drainage patterns and ponding areas;
- Compromise the natural buffering effect of dune systems;
- Alter the landform and features of significant natural landscapes;
- Adversely affect the amenity of neighbouring properties through construction works and alteration of ground levels;
- Adversely affect structures associated with electricity transmission;
- Damage the values of important cultural and historic sites.
The purpose of the earthworks provisions is to manage the effects of earthworks within the City, particularly those at a district level that are not controlled by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Regional Water and Land Plan or other statutes. Of particular importance is the need to manage earthworks from building sites and earthworks that affect land that is sensitive to change where it has identified landscape, ecological or cultural values; is prone to hazards or supports key infrastructure. In addition to this there is also a need to provide greater clarity around the definition and management of cleanfill and landfill activities which are often associated with earthwork activities.
The objectives, policies and rules relating to earthworks have been developed to address these matters. These provisions also take into account of the role of the Regional Council in managing earthworks through the Regional Water and Land Plan.