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Council rides roughshod over good process

Council rides roughshod over good process

Vibrant Wellington is alarmed that the Wellington City Council decided against notifying CentrePort’s consent application for new office accommodation for the Bank of New Zealand, at the proposed Harbour Quays office park.

Vibrant Wellington spokesman Brent Slater said it was clear a number of people would be affected by the proposed office park on surplus CentrePort land north of the Wellington cbd.

“The proposed BNZ building at Harbour Quays is around five times larger than the four-storey Meridian office block, near Shed 11 on the waterfront, which was notified.

“The proposed Hilton Hotel on the outer T, at Queens Wharf, was also notified.

“It is inconceivable that the Wellington City Council has decided against publicly notifying the consent application for the BNZ, particularly given the number of questions that have been raised about the implications of CentrePort’s office park plans,” Mr Slater said.

Vibrant Wellington was set up to urge a rethink of the Harbour Quays proposal because of the impact it would have on the heart of Wellington. Tenants so far attracted to Harbour Quays have quit office space in the cbd, and others are now being enticed to follow suit.

The campaign is being supported by concerned citizens, retailers and other business owners who believe the Harbour Quays development will damage inner Wellington’s unique and vibrant character.

“Because of the Council’s decision to ride roughshod over good process, Vibrant Wellington is being denied the opportunity of putting its case to an independent party, and of making a valuable contribution to the design of the northern gateway to the city.

“We are now taking legal advice on the merits of a applying for a judicial review of the Council’s decision to avoid notification, with a view to having that decision quashed.

“We know there are many people in Wellington with misgivings about the Harbour Quays proposal. Vibrant Wellington urges them, and groups such as the Civic Trust and Waterfront Watch, to take their concerns to the Council.

“Vibrant Wellington is aware of CentrePort’s plans for another nine such office buildings in addition to the existing Statistics building and the proposed BNZ office block.

“We are proposing that the surplus CentrePort land be earmarked for mixed use, including residential and high-end retail, and civic facilities such as the presently mooted indoor sports complex.

“This would be a more logical way to use the surplus land opposite the concourse running from the railway station to Westpac Stadium,” Mr Slater said.

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