November 2017 meeting – shonky consents, social action, and pipes for poop

Johnsonville Residents are invited to attend the monthly meeting of the Johnsonville Community Association, beginning at the earlier time of 7pm on Wednesday 29 November at the Johnsonville Community Centre.

1/ High density redevelopment approvals — what is going, and what can we do about it?

JCA is examining a consent application at 1 Sheridan Crescent threatening to allowed on a ‘non notified’ basis.

‘Non-notified’ means the bureaucrats approved the development based on their assertion that its effects on neighbours would be ‘less than minor’. But this is a massive over-development of the land with ten units, each with less than half the required amount of outdoor space. JCA is astonished because it breaches the District Plan in six different ways. You can imagine how the neighbours feel.


1 Sheridan Terrace shown in red outline

Look how this 1 Sheridan Terrace development is squished in at the end of a narrow cul-de-sac road. We thought we had stopped this sort of nonsense because just a few years ago in our Environment Court victory, getting this this entire area of Johnsonville East of the motorway removed from Medium Density Residential Accommodation zone (the orange sections of the map are MDRA zones). The Court agreed it was too hilly, the streets too narrow, and pedestrian access too hard.


City Council officials are getting a track record of giving developers a free ride to the detriment of longstanding ratepayers. Another example is the resource consent they allowed for seventeen close-packed units to be built at 30 Monowai Road (outlined in red at right). The development is way out of proportion to the well-established neighbourhood of houses on their own sections. Its design far exceeds what the district plan allows. Yet WCC gave it the consent without requiring the developer to consult the neighbours.


JCA says this is nuts.

2/ Is social action the way to speed up the Mall?

Wellington City Council officers and politicians have made no difference on speeding up the redevelopment of Johnsonville town centre. Rotten landlord Stride Properties owns or influences a swathe of prime commercial and retail real estate between the motorway and the railway. Stride is $600 million listed company generating $57 million profit per year. But despite all this cash, and decades of Johnsonville people waiting (mostly) patiently, Stride have shown they care nothing for us. The mall upgrade is on the back burner because it’s already very profitable even when it’s broken down and miserable.

empty mall shop

An all-too common sight in Johnsonville Mall

Had enough of waiting? So have we, and maybe it is time to Act! JCA members will discuss a strategy of social action aimed at precipitating a new mall redevelopment. We have more potential than anyone thinks to influence these Auckland moneybagses. As customers of the shops in Johnsonville Mall, so we are indirectly the sole source of Stride’s operational income. We have the power to ‘incentivize’ the mall redevelopment because commercial landlords Stride have only one operational income source: rent from shop owners.

3/ Lifting the lid on drainage: It aint sexy, but it sure is important.

sewer coverOur stormwater and sewer capacity is suffering under the pressure of residential developments designed to fit more people onto the same land. Just for kicks, JCA keeps its eye on high-density dwelling resource consent applications in Johnsonville.

The pace of intensification continues unabated, despite specialist drainage engineers saying the drainage infrastructure can’t cope with it.

One suggested fix could be to build to make you keep your sewerage on site, to be pumped out to sewers when demand abates. Is this safe and appropriate? Wouldn’t it be better to bring drainage infrastructure up to scratch and THEN redevelop?

JCA invited Wellington Water to give us a short presentation at this meeting. They’ve cancelled for this time, but we hope they’ll be able to come to our next meeting. We hope they will explain the situation and what they’ll do to address the problems.


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