An impression of the Shelly Bay Development Project, taken from the Wellington Company website. Click on the image for a larger version.
Sir Peter Jackson has delivered a scathing criticism of Wellington City Council‘s oversight of plans for a major development in Shelly Bay. In a lengthy Facebook post to his 2 million followers, he compared the council’s actions on the proposal to something from the Sopranos or communist Albania.
The 5,000 word message contains copies of emails sent between council staff and developers discussing road needs if development is to move forward.
Emails show the council is considering ignoring advice from a report that a 14-meter-wide road and 8-meter footpaths should be built for the road, opting instead for a 6-meter road. wide with 1.5 meters of pedestrian space.
Sir Peter said the council is prepared to ignore its own reports on the required width of the road and that taxpayers will have to swallow the cost of the road.
“That the WCC is willing to ignore the advice of its own experts is deeply concerning, but it’s a shock to see how easily Wellington taxpayers are thrown under the bus (assuming there is in fact a service bus at the time) “, said Sir Peter.
“And why should they care?” There is no accountability, and the board appears to have a well-oiled practice of dragging huge budget blowouts through the system with minimal public outcry. I suspect this is not the first time this has happened.
Sir Peter said local residents are against development and the fight will only get worse.
At the end of last year, consents for the $ 500 million project were overturned by the Court of Appeal, which ruled that Wellington City Council was wrong in the law when issuing the consents.
The developers, Taranaki Whānui and the Wellington Company, say the project’s designers were challenged to deliver not only highly efficient and durable structures, but also beautiful forms of construction suited to its pristine coastal environment.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester defends his council’s involvement in development which he said was good business for taxpayers. The council will spend $ 10 million on infrastructure such as pipelines, but recoup $ 8 million from the sale of land, he said. Mr Lester said the Court of Appeal described the council officers as acting appropriately and professionally.
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New Zealand Herald: Word war