Variation 11: Council Response to Environment Court Decision

26 April 2012

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says today's 'Variation 11' decision by the Environment Court is still being read and considered by Council officers.

"From my initial assessment of the judgment, the Court has given us a clear direction that future building on the north Kumutoto section of the waterfront should be more modest," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

"Personally, I'm pleased there is likely to be a wider promenade, that Site 8 will be open space and that the heritage Ferry Building won't be dwarfed."

The Environment Court this morning released its 46-page judgment on appeals against the City Council's proposed 'Variation 11' to the District Plan - which relates to the possible construction of new buildings in the north Kumutoto area of the waterfront - between north Queens Wharf and the Railway Station.

Mayor Wade-Brown says the judgment is wide-ranging and deals with a complex set of planning rules relating to a very high-profile piece of public land.

"It will take the Council and Wellington Waterfront Ltd time to fully assess the implications of the judgment - but we certainly appreciate the relatively rapid decision by the Court.

"There will be implications for the future development of the waterfront in terms of built form, public spaces and financial issues. Council will have to consider this issue further in the Long-Term Plan deliberations as part of considering the draft three-year Waterfront Development Plan."

Earlier this year the Council deferred a decision on the proposal by development company Newcrest and WWL for a building on 'site 10' opposite the NZ Post head office on Waterloo Quay.

"It was a good move to defer any decision on the proposal until after the release of the Court decision on Variation 11," Mayor Wade-Brown says.