Save our valley, say residents facing 4500 truck-loads of landfill

News from Creswick Valley Residents Association
Creswick Valley residents are demanding that the Wellington City Council listen to their views on a contentious land development proposal on Curtis Street.

Creswick Valley is recognised as regionally significant for ecological purposes. Situated between Zealandia and Otari-Wilton’s Bush, it is a well-known kaka flight path. The valley is also home to the upper Kaiwharawhara Stream and Wellington’s most accessible large glow-worm dell. The proposal by Prime Property Group could see a large-scale big box development.

At a packed public meeting on Tuesday night, Creswick Valley Residents’ Association chairperson Sarah Holden outlined what the community is now facing, which includes 4,500 truck-loads of fill and clearing more than 2000m2 of vegetation to develop the site.

“This feels like Ground Hog Day, we are dumbfounded. We spent nearly a year in discussion with the Council and developer on an appropriate scale of development for the site. At the same time the Council was sitting on an application from the developer to obliterate the site”, said Ms Holden.

“This proposal highlights why we need stronger safeguards to prevent developers from exceeding agreed standards for development”.

The Council has publically notified the earthworks consent application, and has deemed the impact of these earthworks as ‘less than minor’.

“It’s outrageous the Council thinks filling the valley where my home is ‘is less
than minor”, said Northland resident Peter Thompson.

“The idea of filling up our valley and totally changing an ecologically important
piece of land for no reason at all is absolutely farcical”, said Ken Cuttle, a Wlton resident.

Creswick Valley Residents’ Association Chairperson Sarah Holden is urging residents to make a submission on the earthworks application before the 1 April deadline.

“We took them to court and won, but now unfortunately we have to fight again to save our valley. We won’t give up and the Council can expect a flood of submissions”, said Ms Holden.

creswickvalleyra@gmail.com

Background information

The proposed development follows the Association successfully taking the Council to the High Court in 2012, where it was found that rezoning the site at 55-85 Curtis Street from Open Space/Residential to Business 2 was not publically notified and was illegal.

Following their High Court loss, last year the Council publically notified a district Plan Change to create a Curtis Street Business Area. Sixty-five concerned residents and organisations made submissions with only 5 in favour of the new zone. The outcome was a site specific Business Area with minor provisions to protect the glow-worm dell on Old Karori Road. The Association and the Developer Prime Property Group, are now appealing this zoning in the Environment Court.

 

2 comments:

  1. CC, 20. March 2014, 8:59

    One of the more disturbing aspects of this saga is that by the time anything is built on the site, the Council will have spent well in excess of $500 000 of ratepayer funds to gift a small area of Open Space B reserve to the developer. It seems there must be much more going on behind closed doors than this news report indicates.

     
  2. Michael Gibson, 20. March 2014, 12:10

    Perhaps Iona Pannett can tell us since she voted to industrialise this land & then said that she hoped nobody would appeal against it.

     

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