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Creswick Valley Residents Demand Wgtn City Council Listen

Ground Hog Day as Creswick Valley Residents Demand Council Listen

Creswick Valley Residents are demanding Wellington City Council listen to their views on a contentious land development proposal on Curtis St.

Creswick Valley is recognised as regionally significant for ecological purposes. Situated between Zealandia and Otari-Wilton’s bush, it is a well-known kaka flight path. The valley is also home to the upper Kaiwharawhara stream and Wellington’s most accessible large glow-worm dell. The proposal by Prime Property Group could see a large-scale big box development.

Creswick Valley Residents’ Association Chairperson Sarah Holden outlined to a packed public meeting on Tuesday night what the community is now facing, which includes 4 500 truck-loads of fill and clearing more than 2000m2 of vegetation to develop the site.

"This feels like Ground Hog Day, we are dumbfounded. We spent nearly a year in discussion with the Council and developer on an appropriate scale of development for the site. At the same time the Council was sitting on an application from the developer to obliterate the site.”, said Ms Holden.

"This proposal highlights why we need stronger safeguards to prevent developers from exceeding agreed standards for development".

The Council has publically notified the earthworks consent application, and has deemed the impact of these earthworks as ‘less than minor’.

“It’s outrageous the Council thinks filling the valley where my home is ‘is less than minor”, said Northland resident Peter Thompson.

“The idea of filling up our valley and totally changing an ecologically important piece of land for no reason at all is absolutely farcical”, said Ken Cuttle, a Wilton resident.

Creswick Valley Residents’ Association Chairperson Sarah Holden is urging residents to make a submission on the earthworks application before the 1 April deadline.

“We took them to court and won but now unfortunately we have to fight again to save our valley, but we won’t give up and the Council can expect a flood of submissions”, said Ms Holden.

Background information
The proposed development follows the Association successfully taking the Council to the High Court in 2012, where it was found that rezoning the site at 55-85 Curtis Street from Open Space/Residential to Business 2 was not publically notified and was illegal.

Following their High Court loss, last year the Council publically notified a District Plan Change to create a Curtis Street Business Area. 65 concerned residents and organisations made submissions with only 5 in favour of the new zone. The outcome was a site specific Business Area with minor provisions to protect the glow-worm dell on Old Karori Road. The Association and the Developer Prime Property Group, are now appealing this zoning in the Environment Court.

Click here for a full timeline of events.

ENDS

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