Four-storey retirement village too high, say residents
Residents of a Wellington suburb are vowing to challenge the size and scale of a planned four-storey aged-care complex.
Some property owners in Crofton Downs are concerned the complex, comprising 89 retirement and care apartments, 66 care home rooms and 111 car parks, will block their sun and is too big for the block of land.
They are also concerned that fewer than 30 property owners were notified by Wellington City Council about the plan less than 10 days before Christmas.
However, retirement village giant Bupa, which made the submission, says a lot of consideration went into the plans for 122 Churchill Dr to ensure it would fit into the surrounding area.
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"In principle no one is objecting to the rest home there," said Maureen Walker, who has lived in Chartwell Dr, adjacent to the site, for more than 30 years.
But Maureen and her husband, Denis, say the project should be modified.
"Don't make them ugly, don't make them big," Maureen said.
"The rules are there so why not stick to them?" Denis said.
Maureen said she did not "want to have our sunlight compromised" and "don't want four storeys".It "bothers" her that so few residents were informed about such a sizeable development in their midst.
The Walkers have been left scrambling with other residents to get their submissions into the council by the February 7 deadline.
Dundee Pl residents Michael and Carol Jenkins are also concerned about the "out of character" building, which they say is "too big" for the area.
But Ngahiwi Apanui who lives in Randolph Rd, t did not have an issue with the complex.
"Retirement villages are going to become part of the landscape."
The council's notification process could have been improved by giving "wider notification and better timing", Ngaio Crofton Downs Residents Association chairwoman Robyn Radomski said.
Some residents had expressed concerns at the height of the complex and potential traffic issues but were "generally supportive" of the proposal, she said.
The complex is planned for the site between the Bowen medical centre and Countdown that until recently was occupied by the Exclusive Brethren.
In its proposal to the council, Bupa said three of the proposed buildings would exceed 12m height restrictions.
Twenty-eight property owners were notified by the council in a letter dated December 16.
Matthew Brown, project manager for Bupa New Zealand, said the buildings that exceeded the height limit were "in part reflective of the area of the site that drops away from the road towards the rail embankment".
"The design reflects a careful and considered process for matching the development with the surrounding neighbourhood."
He said Bupa held two information evenings with residents to present the design and discuss any queries they had.
The number of residents invited to attend these meetings was more than those notified, he said.
In its application Bupa said, "the proposed complex needs to be sufficiently large scale in order to be economically viable", and to provide a high quality of care.
Council portfolio lead for housing Paul Eagle said the decision to give limited notification of the project was in line with requirements under the Resource Management Act.
He said the holiday period from December 20 to January 10 was excluded so that the full submission period was provided to residents.