Residents rage over Powerco substation

By Michele McPherson

A resident in a suburban Papamoa street believes plans for an electricity substation are a done deal.
Stuart Mallasch, who lives in Roxbury Place, believes the project will go ahead despite residents' concerns.
A similar project in Arataki has been given the green light and Bethlehem residents have protested against a proposed substation in their suburb.
The Bay of Plenty Times reported yesterday that Powerco has applied for resource consent to build a $4.5 million Papamoa substation behind Roxbury Place, which backs on to State Highway 2.
"We don't want it, nobody wants one of these things," Mr Mallasch said. "It's going to go ahead anyway. They have bought the land. We aren't going to be able to fight it.
"The Arataki one is surrounded by houses and it has gone ahead. How are we going to win here?"
Mr Mallasch said the immediate neighbours of the site had been contacted by Powerco about the plans late last year.
Mr Mallasch, who lives with his wife, Raewyn, and their 9-year-old daughter, is now focused on making sure the project causes as little disruption as possible to residents.
He has met Powerco representatives several times and told them of concerns about noise and mess during construction phase.
 Mr Mallasch wants Powerco to confirm exactly what the construction will look like, down to details such as which type of security fence will be used.
He has asked for a judderbar to be installed next to the site to stop trucks and cars speeding on the street and does not want Powerco and construction vehicles parked on the street.
Mr Mallasch is putting together an information pack to give to all residents, including requests made by residents.
 Roxbury Place resident James Reid said he and his wife, Beverly, and their 17-year-old son, were stunned to read of the plans in the Bay of Plenty Times last night.
Mr Reid said a substation being built so close to family homes simply was "not good enough".
They bought their home in Roxbury Place three years ago and had no idea a substation would one day join the neighbourhood.

"I would feel a little bit cheated if this has been on some long-term plan."
Mr Reid questioned whether the substation would have overhead lines, and if so, how high voltage transmission would affect residents.
 Mr Reid said Papamoa still had a lot of undeveloped land that was not close to residential areas.
"I cannot believe that the ideal spot for an electrical substation is in the middle of a built-up residential area," he said.
Powerco is working through the consent process and detailed plans are due to be available on the Tauranga City Council website by the end of the week.
Members of the public will have the right to make submissions on the project.
Powerco plans to install two transformers which will take out electricity at 33,000 volts, and reduce that to 11,000 volts. It will supply customers in areas of Papamoa, north of Evans Rd, and through to Mount Maunganui.
Previous substation plans have caused controversy in Tauranga.
Bethlehem residents fought against a substation on Te Paeroa Rd, an area of western Bethlehem zoned for residential development over the next 10 years. A Maunganui Rd substation upset Arataki residents, who appealed to the Environment Court in a fruitless attempt to stop the development.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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