In a decision that’s likely to please Pukerua Bay residents, the latest version of the Porirua City Council Proposed District Plan has removed any possibility of high-density housing being built in Pukerua Bay.
Kāinga Ora had proposed that every part of Pukerua Bay within 800 metres of the train station should be rezoned as ‘high-density housing’, which would have allowed at least six-storey buildings taller than 22 metres. We were worried that the panel was going to agree to that proposal, or at least rezone all the land within 400 metres of the station, which was the original Kāinga Ora proposal.
PCC has accepted the latest version without change as the new proposed plan. In this, the whole of Pukerua Bay is now locked in as ‘medium density housing’, which is the default for the Wellington region. This allows for up to three houses of three storeys each (up to 12 metres high) to be built on all residential properties as a permitted activity (i.e. without needing a resource consent).
Many Pukerua Bay residents, including the Residents Association, sent in submissions opposing the high-density proposal, and the Association is very pleased to see there won’t be any here.
The current version can be appealed to the Environment Court, but unless the court makes any changes, the latest version will be the final operative plan everyone has to follow.
Climate change and resilience added to District Plan
We were also very pleased to see that the panel added a new section on climate change and resilience to the introduction to the District Plan variation that covers the new developments off Muri Road and the Mount Welcome deer farm (i.e. Variation 1 Northern Growth Area).
We had pointed out that there was no mention of the need to both build to anticipate and prevent the impact of climate change in the new developments, and not do anything that would make it any worse. The panel added proposed wording directly from our submission:
The development will incorporate design principles that anticipate the effects of climate change, to mitigate its impacts, to avoid contributing to it and to increase community resilience.