Concrete Jungle

The real difficulty that I have with this development, is not the concept of development itself, but what has been put forward by the developer. The buildings that are in the plan are massive tilt-slab style, 27 meter high dense urban (prefab?) housing.

To me, that’s the rub. The eastern suburbs, with the exception of the monstrosity that is the airport carpark (yes Infratil, we understand the only way a monopoly is able to increase it’s revenue and cost to the public, is to increase its asset base) is a laid back, mostly one or two story,  low density housing space. I don’t know about you, but part of the reason I live here, is EXACTLY BECAUSE of this fact. If I had wanted to be crammed wall-to-wall with my neighbours, I would be living in downtown Wellington, or perhaps, London.

So when I saw that they were planning to put 350 dwellings in a space of 4.5 hectares, I was aghast. According to the last census, Miramar has a density of 3.7 dwellings per hectare. The proposed Shelly Bay development will have 77 dwellings per hectare, nearly twenty times the density of the local neighbourhood. To put this into perspective, London, one of the densest, most congested cities on the planet, has a density of approximately 125 dwellings per hectare.

One might wonder, what’s the harm? Well, for me, it turns out there’s a lot of harm – the quality of life that I’ve aspired to, is one where we aren’t all crammed together, that we don’t need to be living at each others’ doorstep.

By sneaking Shelly Bay through HAASHA (Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013), which allows the council to grant consent with no consultation with the residents of the area, our council has cleverly given carte-blanche to turn a natural, relaxed neighbourhood into a concrete urban jungle. Of course, for this particular developer, this is just the beginning, with high density housing planned for the top of the hill as well.

So just like the biking and fishing along Shelly Bay Road, if this development goes through, we can happily say goodbye to our sleepy relaxed neighbourhood, not just because of the traffic lights.

I don’t want the quality of my neighbourhood altered in this manner, and am frankly incensed that the city council is colluding with developers to degrade the quality of my life, and the quality of my neighbourhood. Developers, who I will also note, don’t live here either, and one of whom appears to live on 4.2 hectares all by himself. Apparently he doesn’t like dense urban housing either.

Shame on you city council, Shame.

 

P.S.: Don’t forget to put your submission in by 5PM August 14, 2017

CLICK HERE for the Wellington CIty Council Submission Site

or

CLICK HERE for a printable submission form.