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40 social houses get green light

A copy of the subdivision plans. IMAGE/SUPPLIED

Affordable housing on way

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Wairarapa Design and Build Ltd has consent to subdivide land on Iorns St Nth and build 40 social housing units on it.

Masterton District Council granted resource consent this month.

The application for the subdivision was notified mid-August, and two parties objected.

But at a pre-hearing meeting on September 11, their issues with the housing development were appeased, and both withdrew their requests to be heard at a full consent hearing.

The housing density of the development was more than twice what MDC permitted in the district plan. But the council considered the activity to be discretionary under the plan and consistent with the objectives of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity, the national environmental standard for assessing and managing contaminants in soil to protect human health, and the Wairarapa Combined District Plan.

The 9562m2 land block is being divided into nine fee simple lots and includes a reserve and a “ring road”.

The housing blocks comprise four single-level three-bedroom units; eight two-level three-bedroom units; eight two-level two-bedroom units; and 20 single-level one-bedroom units.

At the pre-hearing meeting, submitters on the subdivision application Steven Fair and Masterton Gospel Hall Trust spoke about their concerns about the density of the housing, the two-storey blocks and the subsequent loss of privacy, and the need for higher fencing.

Fair also raised the issue of the developer’s social housing provider client, Emerge Aotearoa Limited. The organisation provides and manages housing for low-income households and is contracted to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

The trust objected, saying the proposed two-storey buildings would be intrusive on its privacy.

The applicant agreed to build higher fences and to use “obscure [opaque] glazing” on the lower part of the second-floor windows facing the trust’s premises.

As part of the consent conditions, the council also required the developer to submit a landscaping plan to “mitigate the density of the development and soften the over-height fence”.

In granting consent, the conclusion of the panel was that the application had no more than “minor effects” on the environment with “appropriate conditions imposed”.

“The proposal is considered consistent and not contrary to any objective, policy or assessment criteria of the Wairarapa Combined District Plan.”

“For these reasons, it is appropriate that the consent is granted.”

Tomlinson and Carruthers Surveyors Ltd prepared the subdivision application and in it acknowledged the development was different for Masterton.

But it said the sizes were “quite generous in larger cities”.

“The units would provide affordable accommodation for those in urgent need of housing.

“The location of the site is conducive to walking and biking, and schools are close by, as well as recreation facilities, Colombo Rd, natural areas [Henley Lake] and the town centre.”

Jennian Homes’ Gareth Norris represented Wairarapa Design and Build, and Tomlinson and Carruthers Surveyors Ltd were present at the pre-hearing meeting, as well as four council staff and councillor Fraser Mailman, who chaired the meeting.

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