Welling­ton re­gion run­ning out of room


Welling­ton could run out of land to build houses in about 12 years, de­spite nu­mer­ous res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments un­der­way in the re­gion.

Welling­ton re­gion’s pop­u­la­tion, in­clud­ing the Hutt Val­ley and Porirua, will in­crease from 413,400 to 459,200 over the next 25 years, ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics New Zealand.

Welling­ton City Coun­cil district plan man­ager John McSweeney said there was about 290 hectares of green­field land left to de­velop in the re­gion – enough for about 3500 houses, based on ex­ist­ing res­i­den­tial sub­di­vi­sion plans which al­lows up to 12 houses per hectare.

McSweeney said it was likely that the coun­cil would have to en­cour­age de­vel­op­ers to build more houses closer to­gether.

The coun­cil was look­ing at op­tions in some of the north­ern sub­urbs where land could be re­zoned from ru­ral to res­i­den­tial, McSweeney said.

That could cre­ate enough res­i­den­tial land for another 10 years of hous­ing de­vel­op­ments.

Bay­leys Welling­ton gen­eral man­ager Grant Hen­der­son said the thou­sands of sec­tions set to come on mar­ket was not enough.

‘‘For Welling­ton to con­tinue to keep up, it has to keep de­vel­op­ing green­fields. It’s cru­cial we do the de­vel­op­ments.’’

The lat­est res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment is ear­marked for Plim­mer­ton Farm, which was sold to Up­per Hutt de­vel­oper Mal­colm Gil­lies and his busi­ness part­ner Kevin Melville.

The duo plan to cre­ate more than 1500 sec­tions and 60 life­style blocks on the site, with some lots ex­pected to hit the mar­ket in late 2020.

Up to 100 sites a year would be de­vel- oped, mean­ing it would take about 20 years to com­plete.

By then, the re­gions pop­u­la­tion will have grown by 45,800.

Hen­der­son said there was a lot of res­i­den­tial land yet to be un­locked in Welling­ton.

‘‘There are huge op­por­tu­ni­ties, and the sooner we get some sup­ply into the mar­ket­place, the bet­ter.’’

Welling­ton City Coun­cil coun­cil­lor Andy Fos­ter, who is in charge of ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, said about 40,000 houses needed to be built in Welling­ton to cater for pop­u­la­tion growth over the next 30 years.

This did not in­clude growth in the wider Welling­ton re­gion, he said.

The coun­cil has com­mis­sioned re­search to es­tab­lish how much space was left to de­velop and if the city could hold another 40,000 houses, he said.

‘‘Most likely we can’t, and we are very much ex­pect­ing that. So then we have to say, ‘Well where are they go­ing to go? What do we need to change to ac­com­mo­date growth?’’’

There was a need to den­sify fur­ther. How­ever, it was un­clear which parts of the city were best suited for that, Fos­ter said.

‘‘This is go­ing to be a re­ally chal­leng­ing con­ver­sa­tion, and it’s go­ing to be a re­ally big one.’’

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