Polhill consultation

Status Closed
Start date 6 June 2017
Closed date 3 July 2017
Number of submissions 610

What happened to this consultation?

Wellington City Council sought feedback on changes to tracks in Polhill Reserve. This includes three new tracks and closing two short track sections.

Polhill Reserve track proposals brochure (267KB PDF)

The proposals

There are three proposals from the BTB and two proposals from the Council.

Brooklyn Trail Builders’ proposals

  1. A new 2.5-kilometre mountain bike priority descending trail.
    This trail would remove descending mountain bikers from the upper two thirds of Transient trail, reducing congestion and improving the experience in both directions for walkers, runners, and uphill mountain bikers. Transient would become a shared track but with uphill riding only. The lower one kilometre of Transient would still be used for downhill by beginner and some intermediate mountain bikers, as Serendipity is for advanced-level riders only.
    The Council proposes an alternate option for a small part of this trail at the top of the track below Ashton Fitchett Drive – 1a. It will mean less removal of vegetation and reduced earth works, but a steeper climb onto Ashton Fitchett Drive.
  2. A new 350-metre walking-only connector trail from 104 Karepa Street to its connection with Transient.
    This trail would connect with the existing walking track to provide a seamless walking-only route through the middle of Polhill, connecting upper Brooklyn with Aro Street. However, the track would require the addition of steps and the removal of vegetation, and it is only 400 metres from another entrance on Ashton Fitchett Drive.
  3. A new 350-metre shared-use connector trail from upper Clinical trail to Highbury Fling trail.
    Bikes climbing the top of the Clinical trail to George Denton Park face a steep climb just before the playground. If they then re-enter Polhill they have to cross a public road for another climb, leading up to Highbury Fling. This trail would keep bikes within the reserve on a track with an even gradient. However, it would cause vegetation loss.

Read the full Brooklyn Trail Builders’ proposal (112KB PDF)

Wellington City Council proposals

  1. Removing the steep track from Waimapihi Reserve to its connection with Transient.
    The route is rarely used, is very steep, and would need steps installed to make it useable for walkers. It also doesn’t add to the overall network connectivity. 
  2. Removing the 60-metre Ashton Fitchett Drive steps onto Transient.
    There is another entrance into Polhill Reserve and Transient next to this track off Ashton Fitchett Drive.


Open Space Access Plan review

We reviewed the proposals against the criteria in the Open Space Access Plan. The review raised some issues. In particular: 

  • The trails would require vegetation removal and the forming of narrow tracks across steep slopes at risk of erosion. The routes would need reviewing by independent track designers before being built. 
  • The trails could pose a risk to the nesting success of tīeke. If the trails proceed, a survey on the effects of the nesting and breeding of tīeke should take place.
  • We will need careful design at trail intersections, including good sight lines to reduce speed and ensure people’s safety.To minimise vegetation removal and overall disturbance to the reserve the review recommended proposals 2 and 3 not proceed. 

View the full report: Formal assessment of Brooklyn Trail Builders’ proposal (508KB PDF)

The submissions

Polhill submissions received (23.6MB PDF)

Final decision

On the 27 September 2017 the Council agreed to the construction of two new tracks in Polhill Reserve: 

  • the mountain bike priority descending trail below Transient
  • the walking only track from Karepa Street to Transient. 

They also agreed that no more tracks be built in Polhill Reserve after these tracks had been constructed. The Open Space Access Plan will be amended to reflect these changes. 

More information

Email: polhill@wcc.govt.nz
Phone: 04 499 4444