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Banks Street site makes good sense financially

20 Nov 2009

Banks Street site makes good sense financially

A ceremony will be held on Monday to mark the beginning of the Banks Street development where our largest project of recent time – the Gisborne city's wastewater treatment plant – will be built.

The site will house more than just the new plant. Existing buildings, including a large one used as a logging truck workshop, have been converted into space for council departments and 5 areas of warehouse and office space that will be leased commercially.  The Banks Street site was occupied by Pacific Haulage until council purchased it in 2007.

Development of the site will result in significant cost savings for council. Council departments currently housed in leased premises in Awapuni Road will be moved to Banks Street saving $60,000 per year in rent and 5 other premises will be leased commercially.

Council’s pests and plants, and rivers and drainage departments will operate from Banks Street and the archive facility has already moved. It was quickly running out of space in Awapuni Road and was not compliant with new government regulations on the storage of records.

Two commercial areas on site have already been leased out long term to Bridgestone Tyres and Vehicle Testing New Zealand who will relocate in the new year. A further 3 commercial areas - 2 at 140sqm and one at 250sqm - are now available to lease.

The back of the site will be taken up with the new wastewater treatment plant. Ground strengthening work will start in December.  The Banks Street site was chosen for the wastewater treatment plant after problems were identified with the initially proposed sites. Building near the airport proved expensive due to its 2.5km distance from the outfall pipe. The other site was near the existing milliscreening plant in the Adventure playground. Mayor Meng Foon and staff consulted aerial maps to look for suitable sites to build on that were large enough to house the new plant and were close to the existing outfall pipe.  The 3 options were widely consulted on with Gisborne residents and the Banks Street site was clearly preferred. The fact it is within 500m of the outfall pipe has helped to bring costs down.