Council agreeing to improve Community EngagementDiane Calvert
Once again some Councillors are not listening to their communities. The Dominion Post article (March 21) on Wellington City Council’s recent Transport and Urban Development committee meeting highlights this.
Yes, Councillors agreed to go back and engage better with communities in Khandallah, Karori and Island Bay which means we are back where we were last September (2015). We hope, this time, Council will work with residents to develop a quality plan that satisfies not just developers. Last year’s idea was an ill-thought through “fait accompli”.
One Councillor suggested setting principles as per the Treaty of Waitangi. Surely it would be better to agree city-wide principles that the majority of residents can accept? The poor-quality medium density housing we see all over Wellington only serves developers who build them quickly and move onto the next project. Councillor Lester’s amendment to also delay Tawa and Newlands would support a more consistent and integrated city-wide approach and ensure better quality design across all suburbs. What is 8 months delay in a 30 year plan?
Residents groups that are speaking up about this want a Wellington that takes design, character, environment and real need into account. Intensification can still happen. It’s a shame more Councillors don’t recognise this as they continue down a ‘divide and conquer’ path.