Developer plans Houghton Bay development

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2013
Houghton Bay

NEW HOMES? One of the last patches of undeveloped land on Wellington's south coast, at Houghton Bay, is being sold for home development.

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A development planned for Houghton Bay could see open hillside become houses.

Immaculate Construction has applied for a resource consent from Wellington City Council for 13 houses on a half-hectare site at 215 Houghton Bay Rd.

The section is empty hillside in the Houghton Valley, covered in gorse and native karo trees.

Developer Smith Geursen said the work would initially cause significant disruption to the vegetation, but the end result would increase native bird and animal life.

His associates planned to clear the gorse and karo from the land and plant it with indigenous south coast vegetation around the houses.

"Karo is on a pest management plan because it is invasive on the south coast . . . we're going to prune the karo back, retaining everything that we can and plant back all the species which should be around the area."

Sections for homes would be dug back into the side of the hill.

"It's not a horrendously steep site, but it is a Wellington site. So we're benching back into the hill so the houses bed back down into the regenerating planting."

Concept designs for the homes would be included in the resource consent. Owners would be able to build their own designs as long as they complied with the consent.

Geursen expected it would take two to four years to complete the project if resource consent was approved.

It will not go ahead without questions from Houghton Bay residents. A flier drop recently went out opposing the plans.

"I completely understand people are worried about what's going to happen in their neighbourhood," Geursen said. "I potentially dropped the ball a bit . . . I should have got something out to the wider community faster than I have . . .

"Hopefully people will be less concerned when they see the interesting and attractive development that we have proposed."

Houghton Valley community newsletter contributor Norman Smith said people who might be affected by the development wanted to know more.

A second development next door to Geursen's proposal, of up to eight homes on a larger site, received resource consent from the council in 2010 and has been in gestation for some time.

The plot, at 235 Houghton Bay Rd, is owned by Trace Murdoch and Caryl McKirdy.

One section in their proposed subdivision, covering 1425 square metres, is for sale with Tommys Real Estate, seeking inquiries over $395,000.

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