Ratepayers to foot some of Shelly Bay's infrastructure cost

Shelly Bay Rd is currently 6 metres wide. The position of the orange road cone shows how wide it would be if it became ...
MONIQUE FORD/FAIRFAX NZ

Shelly Bay Rd is currently 6 metres wide. The position of the orange road cone shows how wide it would be if it became 22m wide - the width it would need to be if the Shelly Bay development was a "greenfields" project.

Ratepayers will fund some of the millions of dollars to get infrastructure – including a proposed cantilevered boardwalk – to Wellington's Shelly Bay development.

But just how much will be funded by the public – and how much of the cost developers will pick up – remains secret.

Wellington City Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, who heads the transport portfolio, would not reveal where negotiations were at with developers The Wellington Company, which is in a joint venture with the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust to develop the Evans Bay harbourside site.

An artist's impression of the proposed Shelly Bay development, depicting a cantilevered boardwalk.
SUPPLIED

An artist's impression of the proposed Shelly Bay development, depicting a cantilevered boardwalk.

But for the deal to go ahead, developers would have to agree to chip in an extra $10m on top of what had been agreed, he said, saying it was his personal opinion as an Eastern Ward councillor.

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Some of this was to help pay for a major upgrade to the sewage system to the Wellington Harbour Evans Bay site, but also to widen the access road.

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman wants to see a cantilevered and boardwalk walkway to Shelly Bay.
ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman wants to see a cantilevered and boardwalk walkway to Shelly Bay.

It is understood that the cost of getting infrastructure to the Shelly Bay site could reach up to $40m and, while those in a position to confirm the figure have been unable to verify this, they have been unable to provide a different figure.

Stuff this month revealed there was a proposal to extend the existing 6 metre-wide road to add a 1.5m-wide shared pedestrian and cycle path.

This 7.5m-wide solution – which would still reach into the high tide and likely take out a beach – was far-short of the ideal solution which would be a 22m-wide build made up of road, cycleway and footpath.

Left - Wellington City Council land ownership at Shelly Bay, showing details of the existing land parcels. Right - ...
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Left - Wellington City Council land ownership at Shelly Bay, showing details of the existing land parcels. Right - Realigned road and balance of Wellington City Council land at Shelly Bay, depicting what the site would look like if a legal road 12m wide was constructed.

But Calvi-Freeman said, with traffic numbers expected to triple or quadruple with the development, he and other councillors favoured a 6m road, with a 2.5m to 3m cycleway and 1.5m footpath – a total width of up to 10.5m.

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"I realise that could be very expensive and in certain locations it may be nigh on impossible. There may be some parts where the pedestrians and cycles would have to come together."

He envisioned the walkway as a series of cantilevered platforms and walkways on the seaward side of the road.

While he was not able to reveal the total infrastructure cost, he confirmed negotiations were under way and the developer had agreed to pay some of the cost. Calvi-Freeman wanted $10m more – as a "ballpark figure" – than what had been agreed on so far.

While the work already had resource consent, developers still needed to buy parcels of land owned by ratepayers if they wanted to complete the entire proposed development – complete with 350 homes, a boutique hotel, brewery, rest home and ferry service.

That land was the council's bargaining chip, Calvi-Freeman said.

"I personally like the development and I would love to see it go ahead but not at any price."

Wellington Company director Ian Cassels said the $40m figure was "news to me".

Settlement Trust spokesman Wayne Mulligan said he had heard "numbers bandied about all over the show".

Shelly Bay had decades of infrastructure under-investment – which the council had to carry some of the burden for "at some point", especially given the rates paid there now and post-development.

The planned development would be 60 to 70 per cent public space, he said.

 - Stuff

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