Ngaio subdivision spat partly solved

Walkway access gained

CHRIS HYDE
Last updated 09:30 29/06/2012
Julia Williams
CHRIS HYDE
Walking track secure: Julia Williams delights in throwing away some of the paperwork that built up while negotiations took place for public access to the Crows Nest, in the background.

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A proposed subdivision on one of Ngaio's hills is still causing friction, despite being given draft consent after almost four years of negotiations.

The Kilmarston subdivision, as it is known locally, could result in up to 45 houses being built on Crows Nest hill, the back of Huntleigh Park Way and Patna St.

Affected groups are divided over the result of the negotiations, which began in 2008.

Trelissick Park Group is calling the draft consent for the subdivision "another nail in the coffin for the Kaiwharawhara catchment". The Ngaio Progressive Association considers the result of the negotiations to be "a victory for Ngaio" because it has brokered an agreement that guarantees public access to the popular Crows Nest walking track.

The agreement for the subdivision was finally reached in April after Wellington City Council offered to buy land, including the walking track, as part of the outer green belt.

Wellington City Council representatives and the landowner were unavailable for comment.

The agreement means the council will buy the walking track only if a development takes place on the hill.

After four years, if there is no development, the arrangement with the council will expire.

The council's decision pleases Julia Williams, who was the Ngaio Progressive Association chairman when negotiations began.

Ms Williams said the track up to the Crows Nest was privately owned with informal access provided, but the association wanted access to the hill to be guaranteed.

The result formalised the arrangement of access to the walking track, she said.

Ms Williams said the association had put in hundreds of hours' work and did so because the Crows Nest was an integral part of Ngaio's identity.

"If you've ever seen the Ngaio signs that welcome people to our community, one of the knobs on it is the Crows Nest," she said.

"The walking track up to it is another connection in the whole walkway system and it's an important link."

However, Trelissick Park Group does not share Ms Williams' enthusiasm about the result of the negotiations.

The group, which was a party to the Ngaio Progressive Association's appeal, has withdrawn from the subdivision agreement.

Trelissick Park Group chairman Peter Reimann said there were still strong reservations about the subdivision's impact on the area.

He said the group remained unhappy with some of the storm- water provisions in the draft consent.

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Mr Reimann said his group hoped the Kilmarston subdivision would never go ahead.

He said the group would not be taking further legal action, but hoped its concerns would be considered.

- The Wellingtonian

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