Milieukwesties gerezen over de woningbouw van Maitaijuni 4, 2020
Braden Fastier/ Stuff
A proposed housing development will include land in the Maitai Valley, with room for up to 550 houses.
Councillors have raised questions over the potential environmental effects of a new housing development in the Maitai Valley.
The proposed development is a collaboration between local developers and iwi, and could result in a total of 700 new houses being built in Atawhai and the Maitai Valley.
The Nelson City Council has applied for $25 million from central government to upgrade critical infrastructure near the land in question.
During a Nelson City Council meeting on Wednesday, council chief executive Pat Dougherty said the deveopment plan was for the houses to be built across two catchments of land.
The larger portion of this was in the Kaka/Maitai Valley, which had the potential for approximately 550 houses.
The other 150 houses could be constructed on land in Atawhai, on the ridgeline between Bayview Road and the Centre of New Zealand.
Councillor Matt Lawrey questioned whether the appetite was there for new housing in the post-Covid economy.
“That’s based on the assumption that people will have money to buy new houses in Nelson in a year’s time – are we confident that will be the case?”
Dougherty said given the scale of investment put forward by the developers, he would be surprised if there was not a demand for the houses.
Lawrey, along with several other councillors, also raised concerns about the potential environmental impact of the development in the Maitai.
“It is exciting, but I’ve got real concerns about impact of hundreds of new houses and cars and dogs on the Maitai, and the potential effects that could have on the health of the river and the character of the valley.
“If we don’t [get it right], we will be remembered as the council that stuffed the Maitai up”.
Group manager for environmental management Clare Barton said any development would have to go through a plan change/resource consent process, which would need to consider freshwater impacts, ecological impacts, and biodiversity outcomes.
Councillor Kate Fulton said the concerns were about more than just water management, with the need for housing to integrate well into the land to maintain the look and feel of the valley.
Mayor Rachel Reese said resource consent process was robust.
“There’s no ability to consent activities that don’t address those matters – that’s not what this council is about.
“I’ve got absolute confidence in the processes that will be run by the officers in this council on consenting processes.”
Reese said while it was a private development, due to the scale of the proposal there was also an opportunity to address issues such as affordable housing, which was being discussed with the developers.