Court gives go-ahead for waterfront building

14 October 2015

The Environment Court has given the go-ahead for the construction of a five-storey building on the North Kumutoto area of Wellington’s waterfront and the redevelopment of the public areas nearby.

The Court decision, following a hearing in August, was released on Friday and has been welcomed by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillor Andy Foster, Chair of Wellington City Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee.

While the approval is subject to conditions, Mayor Wade-Brown say the decision is a clear endorsement of the City Council’s decision to support the current design.

Mayor Wade-Brown says the proposed construction of the building by Willis Bond, and the associated upgrade of public areas will transform the site.

“I'm pleased there will be an attractive building instead of an asphalt car park and that it will create an attractive space near the historic Ferry building and give some shelter without blocking viewshafts along Whitmore Street. I'm sure the building will be award-winning and its construction will provide welcome jobs too.  

“The adjacent site eight will be a charming open space with harbour views. The new boardwalks and bridges will make the harbour much more accessible,” Mayor Wade-Brown says

Cr Foster says: “The Waterfront Framework clearly indicates this area would be developed as an area of ‘squares, lanes and new buildings in scale with the heritage buildings, such as Shed 21 at the northern end’. It is very pleasing that the Court has solidly endorsed this. 

“The transformation of Wellington’s waterfront since the late 1980s when it was dominated by carparking areas, is widely praised and has won many, many awards. It is the balance of open and built space that is so successful. The building at Site 10 will bring more activity to the northern end of the waterfront, and pay for and complement the upgrade of open space including Site 8.” 

He adds: “It is always satisfying seeing the waterfront used by so many people for such a wide range of activities on any half decent day. The Court’s decision is a milestone that will bring that activity to the northern end of the waterfront, and is another step in the transformation of our waterfront.”   

He also welcomes the Court’s direction that the Council address conditions relating to traffic management and wind sheltering at the Whitmore Street-Jervois Quay intersection.

The City Council’s City Shaper Manager, Ian Pike, says construction of the building and the redevelopment of the surrounding area could start next April once the existing motorhome park on the site is shifted to an adjacent site on CentrePort land.