Village earthworks to start on Boulcott site
After nearly six years Summerset is finally about to make progress on a $150 million retirement village in Lower Hutt.
It has consent to begin earthworks on the Boulcott site, although the substantive issue of the design of the village is yet to be heard by the Environment Court.
Some Boulcott residents have opposed the village, first announced in 2013, arguing the high-density design is inappropriate in a residential area.
Last month, neighbours bordering the site received a letter telling them Summerset would be starting earthworks before Christmas.
One neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said residents contemplated an injunction but did not have the financial resources.
Dennis Page, who represents a group of residents, was disappointed but not surprised by plans to start work without the design being resolved in the Environment Court.
Doing earthworks before the Environment Court hearing was a continuation of the way Summerset had ‘‘ploughed on’’ despite opposition from neighbours, he said.
Hathaway Ave resident William Cottrell owns a two-storey house close to the boundary with sweeping views of a golf course and the western hills.
Multi-storey buildings would block his view and his property would get less sun, he said. ‘‘It would be like parking a super yacht on our boundary; we will lose our light.’’
General manager of development Aaron Smail said Summerset had listened to concerns about the scale of the development and modified the design accordingly.
As well as reducing the number of four-storey buildings, the latest design had them further away from residential boundaries.
‘‘The houses proposed for the land next door to Mr Cottrell are two-storey houses, around the same height as his two-storey house. To the northwest are a mix of two and three-storey apartments and over 100 metres away the five-storey building.’’
He pointed out that the earthworks to level the site would need to be done, no matter what was built on the property.
‘‘We are waiting, just like the local residents, for the Environment Court hearing for the land use resource consent associated with the buildings.’’
Consents manager Helen Oram confirmed the council had issued a non-notified consent for the earthworks.
William Cottrell is worried the buildings will block his views and sun.