Letter to the Editor in the Dom Post Monday 16 October

Inner City Wellington shares concerns about Wellington City Council’s own application of District Plan rules raised by the owner of the converted heritage substation in Kate Sheppard Place. Thankfully the judgement found in favour of enforcing the rules.
Since that hotel resource consent, there has been media coverage of developers' desire to have higher height limits and more flexibility, and WCC Chief Executive warning Councillors they may have to support developers over residents to achieve their affordable housing goals.
According to Clr Foster only 0.8% of resource consents are notified. Many of the resource consents in the inner city will be applying for the discretion that allows the building to exceed the height limit by up to 35%, subject to meeting 'design excellence', and council officers are making these decisions without guidelines on what is ‘design excellence’.
Current design guidelines only take external matters into account. Consequently, further guidance and standards are also required for internal ‘design excellence’. NSW has set mandatory standards for eight aspects of apartment design that are set out in the companion Apartment Design Guide. Therefore ICW is calling for WCC to look closely at this holistic approach and explain why it shouldn’t be applied here.

Geraldine Murphy, Deputy Chair, Inner City Wellington