Fresh views of the flyover raise fears

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2013

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New images of the Basin Reserve flyover have revealed a "more realistic" view of the structure - and they have not gone down well with those who will be living next to it.

The before and after images show the proposed $90 million highway flyover superimposed on actual photographs of various points across central Wellington.

They give an idea of how the view will change for someone about 1.65m tall in Patterson St, Ellice St, the Museum Stand and the Grandstand Apartments in Kent Terrace.

The images were released by the NZ Transport Agency after a request by the independent board of inquiry that will consider resource consent for the flyover at a special hearing in January.

Three of the six new images are taken from levels 3 and 6 of the Grandstand Apartments. They show how obscured the view of the Basin will become for some residents.

The Patterson St image shows the grass mound that will be built up underneath the flyover to partially block it from view.

Grandstand Apartments resident Christine Cummins said the new images were far more realistic than previous architectural drawings.

"The other ones were rather glorified, with quite an element of fantasy about how pretty all the greenery would be, diminishing the concrete impact of it.

"The artist impressions didn't show shadow . . . all of the residents in the south part of the building will not be able to get away from it. It'll be their next-door neighbour."

The images also rammed home how much their view of the Basin Reserve would diminish, she said. "At the moment, we're called Grandstand Apartments, but we may have to change the name of our building . . . because we won't have a grandstand view."

Mrs Cummins and her husband own an apartment on level 2. She suspected some residents at the south end of the building would have a worse view than the ones shown.

The new images did not portray how residents' views would be affected by the "green screen" that will be built between the apartments and the flyover, she said.

The metal, trellis-like screen on which climbing plants will be grown will be about 17 metres high, extending up to about the fifth floor.

"When residents are out on their balconies, then they will get that view [shown in the new images]," Mrs Cummins said.

"When they're inside, looking to the south from their lounge, then they will get the green screen."

But she was pleased to see the board asking for more information than just the artist impressions lodged as evidence by the Transport Agency last month.

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A Transport Agency spokesman said it had worked closely with affected residents in the past and would continue to do so, subject to the outcome of the board of inquiry.

- Fairfax Media

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