Waterfront office block opponents want moratorium

TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 08/07/2014

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Opponents of a controversial six-storey office block to be built on Wellington's waterfront want a five-year ban on any new development.

Waterfront Watch has reiterated its opposition to the Kumutoto precinct building and has also called for a moratorium on waterfront development until a public discussion about what Wellington residents want is undertaken.

Newly elected president Mary Munro said she expected "polite acknowledgement" of the call to put a stop to development but the council appeared firm in its views.

"We don't have to build the waterfront completely in five minutes, we need to make time so we can really have a sense of public involvement. There's no hurry . . . Council seems hellbent on ‘finishing' the waterfront."

The building is on one of three sites in the Kumutoto precinct of the waterfront, and got the go-ahead in April, with detailed plans now being made to put to the full council next month.

If the plan is approved, an application for resource consent would be made and it would go out for public consultation.

Waterfront Watch won an Environment Court battle in 2011 which recommended buildings in the area be only 22 metres in height - the six-storey building proposed is 3.7m taller.

Munro said she was not sure if Waterfront Watch would have an opportunity to formally voice its opposition at the meeting next month but thought it was important to let the council know the issue would not go away.

"We're just reminding them we're still there, and we do feel as strongly about it, and you haven't seen the last of us yet."

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