Vil­lage earth­works to start on Boul­cott site

The Dominion Post - - News - Ni­cholas Boy­ack

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.

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