Denser housing debate

Established areas in Richmond with larger sections and cheaper older homes that are within walking distance of the CBD have been identified by Tasman District Council's planners as suitable for high density urban housing.

In her report Richmond Residential Growth and Development - A denser future?, planner Sonya Leusink-Sladen told councillors at an environment and planning meeting that Richmond's population was growing at a slower rate than the national average, but ageing faster.

The report identified areas around Croucher St, Queen St East, Waverley, Oxford and Cautley streets and Gladstone Rd as having good multi-use potential for denser housing.

She said community input into the higher density planning was vital for its success and the outcome could meet the demand of an ageing population. But the process could not address affordability - that was up to developers.

Deputy major Tim King said the underlying issue of the success of higher density housing was demand. "We have enabled intensive development in other areas and that has not been taken up."

He asked what would happen to identified suburbs' residents. "Would we be replacing existing affordable housing stock with something which is more dense but not necessarily affordable - and where would the existing population go?"

Mr King also asked if infrastructure in older suburbs was capable of handling the increased demands of higher density housing, and said enabling higher density housing in Richmond should come at a cost to any forms of standard development.

The Nelson Mail