In­cen­tives of­fered to cre­ate hous­ing in cen­tral Porirua

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The waiv­ing of fees and rates has been of­fered to prospec­tive de­vel­op­ers who want to build res­i­den­tial hous­ing in Porirua’s city cen­tre.

Porirua City Coun­cil agreed on a CBD res­i­den­tial in­cen­tives pol­icy last Thurs­day and it was roundly sup­ported by coun­cil­lors. It agrees that there will be no devel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tion charges, re­source con­sent pre- ap­pli­ca­tion and pro­cess­ing fees and a re­duc­tion in build­ing con­sent fees by 50 per cent.

Rates will not be charged for res­i­den­tial units in the CBD for five years, from when the build­ing con­sent is is­sued or when a re­source con­sent comes into ef­fect.

The waivers cover con­ver­sions and new builds.

Coun­cil­lor Ken Dou­glas said this was a cru­cial pol­icy, as part of the city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion. Busi­ness growth will come if foot traf­fic in­creases, and in­ner-city living can aid that, he said.

‘‘If we’re go­ing to suc­ceed with the city cen­tre, we need to get peo­ple there,’’ he said. ‘‘ The orig­i­nal de­sign of the city has cre­ated prob­lems and, as the re­cent floods showed, it can be im­pos­si­ble to get out of the CBD at times.’’

Dou­glas said this pol­icy was not a ‘‘free ticket’’, how­ever, and it needed to have in­tegrity.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said while res­i­dents might be ag­i­tated over the pur­chase of the New Zealand Post build­ing, coun­cil should nev­er­the­less be recog­nised for its con­tri­bu­tion to the city’s hous­ing.

‘‘All those peo­ple that live in Aotea, they are there be­cause this coun­cil pur­chased that land and sought a de­vel­oper. North City and the Me­gaCen­tre is the same – this coun­cil was in­volved in mak­ing it hap­pen. There is prece­dent for us [to im­ple­ment this pol­icy] and we need to open the door for peo­ple to come and change our city for the bet­ter.’’

Wendy Walker, the coun­cil’s gen­eral manager of strat­egy and plan­ning, said the bound­ary of the CBD will be de­fined by the Dis­trict Plan, as will car park­ing, noise and ur­ban de­sign.

The re­port to the coun­cil noted there are no known res­i­den­tial units in the CBD and no de­vel­op­ments are for­mally pro­posed. New builds are un­likely, so any new res­i­den­tial units in the short or medium term are likely to come from con­vert­ing ex­ist­ing com­mer­cial build­ings, the re­port said.

The pol­icy will ap­ply from July 1 and lapse on June 30, 2018, un­less the coun­cil agreed to ex­tend or re­voke it be­fore then.

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