The 4ha land parcel on Harrison St East, Featherston, where a community development of small and tiny homes is proposed. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

A vision to establish an eco-friendly community of small and tiny houses featuring 120 dwellings and shared facilities is one step closer to becoming a reality in Featherston.

Ian McComb, of Brookside Developments, lodged a resource consent application with the South Wairarapa District Council this month.

The application was prepared by Tomlinson and Carruthers Surveyors Ltd and lays out the goal of the project.

“Brookside’s dwellings provide access to housing for those who are unable to afford a dwelling in the current housing market, as well as easy care homes for those who have retired from the workforce.”

The site for the proposed development is a 4ha parcel of land on Harrison St East.

An artist’s impression of the community development of small and tiny homes proposed for Featherston. IMAGE/SUPPLIED

Small and tiny houses would feature one to three bedrooms and range in size from 48m2 to 110m2, with land parcels sized from 120m2 to 275m2.

In addition, the planned subdivision would feature early childhood care, a café, an evening community kitchen, a youth activity building, a gymnasium, workshops, and guest accommodation.

There would also be public reserves and spaces, private shared food gardens featuring medicinal plants, and children’s play areas.

While there would be internal roads and 137 car parks, the neighbourhood has been designed to encourage physical activity like walking and cycling, with pathway links within the community, which will be wheelchair-friendly.

Most buildings will be single storey, fencing will be kept to a minimum, and the subdivision would be powered by a mix of solar power and electricity.

Stormwater would be managed on site, and all buildings would be raised to avoid possible flooding events.

Connected to council water and sewerage systems, the units would be developed 30 at a time over four stages, with a 10-year consent period being requested for this to happen.

McComb told the Times-Age last year that he expected the properties to be priced from $190,000 to $390,000.

The aim of the proposed neighbourhood is to create “a strong sense of community and opportunities for community contact while safeguarding privacy”.

An example of this philosophy is that each dwelling’s letterbox would be in one of four community houses so “people will be drawn together by the simple act of collecting the mail”.

It is envisioned that residents of the planned community will be long-term residents, moving between different dwellings as their circumstances change.

There would be a body corporate manager and sub-committees overseeing the community.

McComb has been open about his plans and has sought feedback from the Featherston community by presenting his proposal at public forums.

He has also approached residents who live adjacent to the development site requesting their written approval.

The surveyors concluded that the development would have no adverse effect on the environment “which is any more than minor”.

And a transportation assessment concluded it would cause “no adverse effects” on other road users.

SWDC’s planning department has 10 working days to determine whether the consent will be publicly notified.

The proposed development of 120 lots is 52 lots more than set out in the development standards of the Combined Wairarapa District Plan.

A complying subdivision on the site would have 68 lots.