Flyover 'could undermine property values at Basin'

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014

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Property values near the proposed Basin Reserve flyover could drop by tens of thousands of dollars, opposition groups say.

Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter was the latest transport expert from opposition group Save the Basin to tear shreds off the New Zealand Transport Agency's plans for a two-lane highway flyover, 20 metres north of the Basin yesterday.

Ms Genter gave evidence at the flyover's board of inquiry hearing in her capacity as a former transport planner.

She criticised the agency's economic evaluation of the $90 million project, saying it did not take into account the harm it would do to nearby property values.

Exposure to noise, loss of scenic views, increased risk of flooding, air pollution and environmental degradation were all issues for those within 500m of the flyover, she said.

Overseas research suggested their property values could take a hit to the tune of $50,000 an acre and $3 for each square foot of structure.

NZTA lawyer Andrew Cameron pointed out the surrounding area was already blighted by indecision around roading projects at the Basin.

In documents presented to the board, the agency's economic expert, Michael Copeland, said the flyover would increase Wellington's attractiveness for business and residential development, which should boost some property values.

But Ms Genter did not buy that argument.

"I can't think of a motorway flyover in an urban area anywhere in the world that has good pedestrian and cycling movement around it, and thriving businesses."

She also pointed to overseas research, from as far back as the 1960s, that showed increasing highway capacity to relieve congestion did not shorten journey times.

Rather, it just encouraged more people to drive.

Not building the Basin flyover and spending that money on making public transport more attractive was a better way of getting cars off Wellington's roads, she said.

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- The Dominion Post

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