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Ian Cassels: failure to build Shelly Bay development could cost more for ratepayers

News from The Wellington Company
A failure of the proposed Shelly Bay development to go ahead could result in millions of dollars worth of ongoing costs to ratepayers. Speaking at the Wellington City Council’s City Strategy Committee meeting this morning, Ian Cassels made it clear he had no objection to councillors undertaking a review, but outlined the ways in which Wellingtonians could end up forking out of city coffers if the deal as it stands was to fall over.

Currently, the completed development is expected to be paying $3m a year in rates to the city – a cost which will have to be borne by ratepayers otherwise, in order to keep up with the full costs of requisite upgrades, including heritage sites and seawall and roading upgrades, Cassels said.

The site, currently containing a number of business operations, is being charged rates as if ‘nothing was wrong,’ Cassels told the Committee, but the reality is that the entire site is in severe need of infrastructure upgrades to be able to operate.

The project as a whole comprises parcels of land currently under the owership of The Wellington Company, Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and the Wellington City Council. In 2017, the Council voted to sell and lease the publicly owned parcels of land (currently largely inaccessible to the public) to be developed as part of the whole project.

If the proposed $500 million development was to go ahead, the development would be paying rates rather than local ratepayers.

Introducing Cassels to the meeting, official representatives of mana whenua reiterated the strength of the partnership relationship between PNBST and TWC.

To date, the joint relationship has resulted in five housing projects, with 822 units and more expected in the pipeline.

These are:

– 350 units at Shelly Bay
– 221 units at Wainui (Crown also a partner)
– 93 units at Monark (Crown also a partner)
– 56 units at Paetutu
– 102 units at Victoria Quarter (Crown also a partner)

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