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Feedback sought on Council plans for growth

16 September 2014

Feedback sought on Council plans for growth

An extra 50,000 people are expected to be living in Wellington City in 30 years’ time and planning is well under way to make sure the new housing and services they will need are sustainably developed in areas that will benefit the city most.

Consultation began today on the draft Wellington Urban Growth Plan which will guide how the Council plans for future growth and investment and replace the city’s existing transport and urban development strategies. Feedback is required by Monday 13 October and can be made online at Wellington.govt.nz/urbangrowthplan

The city’s population has grown from 170,000 people 15 years ago to about 200,000, and is expected to be 250,000 by 2043.

Many of the 22,000 homes that will be needed between now and then will be in the inner city, where the number of apartments and town house-style housing is predicted to almost double by 2043 – up from over 8000 now to more than 15,000.

Among other things, the draft plan proposes:

• initiatives to stimulate development in priority areas

• encouraging more intensive residential and commercial development in and near the central city, including along Victoria Street, Taranaki Street and Adelaide Road

• getting on with planned street improvements in places like Victoria Street to support and encourage private sector development and make these neighbourhoods more attractive places to live and pass through

• prioritising improvements to key public transport, walking and cycling routes

• improving the resilience of our infrastructure and buildings against natural hazards.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the plan is one of the tools the Council will use to help lift the city’s economic performance, ensure smart businesses want to stay or locate here and make sure the city builds on its strengths without losing the things that make it special.

“Wellington has some distinct advantages over other cities,” she says.

“People love that they can do all the cultural, sporting and other things you expect in a great city but also easily get a nature fix, have a laid back lifestyle and avoid the worst things about city living – long commutes, terrible traffic congestion, pollution and a lack of space. We want to keep it that way.”

The plan identifies areas with good residential or commercial development potential, including those previously earmarked for growth such as Kilbirnie, Johnsonville and the newer northern suburbs. It also flags the need to investigate ways additional suburban areas could potentially be more intensively developed.

Councillor Andy Foster, who chairs the Transport and Urban Development Committee, says the draft strategy builds on work the Council has done to develop a compact, attractive, mixed-use city set in a stunning natural environment.

"We already enjoy by far the highest proportion in the country of people walking, cycling, and using public transport. That is good economically, socially, environmentally, for our health and for congestion. This strategy aims to further increase those modes while providing the infrastructure needed for freight and for necessary personal transport by private vehicle. A detailed action plan will be developed as a cornerstone component of the Long-term Plan."

The draft Wellington Urban Growth Plan is available online at Wellington.govt.nz/urbangrowthplan

Reference copies of the plan, summary brochures and submission forms are also available at city libraries.

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