The Eye of the Fish

Leviathan
November 2, 2016

Executive subdivisions in Newlands

News today that the Wellington suburb of Newlands is to get a new “executive subdivision” called the Lookout, sitting up on top of the hill overlooking the harbour. There are 48 lots, most fairly standard sort of 390m2 to 590m2 size (roughly a tenth of an acre to a sixth of an acre), with some larger one (probably mostly unusable hillside) up to 1370m2 (still just a third of an acre). It seems almost unbelievable that we once used to routinely have quarter acre sections (1012m2) in our cities. Perhaps that’s just a myth, and we never really had that.
lookout-subdivison-map
I’m not really a great fan of suburbia, it seems that it is a place where you go when you want to die, but some people like it. Evidently our new Mayor Lester likes it, as he is pictured with a sales person called Mr Henderson.
lester-on-hilltop
Great view up there – great exposure to the howling southerly as well! This subdivision isn’t going to solve any great housing problems that we have in Wellington, but it is at least reasonably close to the motorway (commuters can join the queue every morning snaking down the Ngauranga Gorge), and conceivably (but truthfully: quite doubtfully) they could go to Johnsonville and get a train into town. I’m willing to wager that the train scenario will never occur to a single resident of these hilltop houses. “The home and building packages in Newlands will range from $790,000 to $1.5m, and Henderson said they were likely to be sold to professionals and retirees who might be looking to move from the city to a brand new home, which could free up sought-after housing stock in the inner city.”
In case you are wondering where exactly this “Lookout” suburb is, here is a map of the broader location. “X” marks the spot…
glanmire
But it seems to me that if we want to avoid the sort of hellish shit-hole that Auckland has dug itself into, that Wellington needs a better strategy to avoid building more subdivisions like this one. WCC has in the past year or two designated some Special Housing Areas, that seem to have been a complete flop, but that’s not surprising, as the Nats really haven’t got their eye on Wellington – to them the focus is all Auckland. Max wrote about them here, and here, and here. This development is close to, but not actually IN the Lincolnshire Farm subdivision, and the most development seems to have been going on out in Porirua, at the Aotea Block. But still, there is a lot of empty land sitting in Wellington, a lot closer to home than Newlands, and a lot more interesting views as well. Have a look at this map:
closer-to-home
Now, granted, there is a bloody great big fault line running diagonally across the picture, but that occurs to many areas in Wellington, heavily sought-after Thorndon included, so that shouldn’t stop anyone. The two big issues are: access (currently windy roads or no roads) and steepness (that gets you the views, of course, if you’re at the top). Who owns this land? Who is going to put their hand up to develop it?

Alan
3 - 11 - 16

Karori used to be thought of as too far away and no roads, until they built the tunnels to get there. Heck, even Kilburn was inaccessible till the built the cable car. Just needs someone with imagination….

Alan
3 - 11 - 16

Kelburn, not Kilburn….

Alan
3 - 11 - 16

Speaking of which…. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasarmstrong/20403641544/in/pool-41894169203@N01

Leviathan
3 - 11 - 16

Thanks Alan, yes, indeed perhaps there are alternative means of unlocking the hills out the back, that doesn’t include a mandatory car access. The obvious next gully is the Ohiro Valley gully, but unfortunately that is now despoiled by the city dump for the next 200 years or more…. Then Zealandia is in the way. But the area around Wrights Hill, Polhill Gully, etc – there is room to expand there, no?

60MPa
4 - 11 - 16

The owners of Long Gully have sectioned it off and are selling in lots since ages back, at least 6 months ago IIRC?

Woodridge plunges onwards (into a stiff breeze) and everyone’s favourite locale of good taste Churton Park continues North and West into the old silver mines

greenwelly
4 - 11 - 16

@GOMPA, although in the case of Churton park, its continued northern development is bringing its centre of gravity closer and closer to the NIMT,

There are already mutterings of a new rail station at Glenside, near the postal of the number 2 tunnel… which would make it a very quick 15 minute trip to Wellington

levi
4 - 11 - 16

Is Long Gully the one that has the fault line in, running south-west from the top of Zealandia?

starkive
4 - 11 - 16

Long Gully is well north – think Peter Dunne country. Once notorious for its part in the Daughtergate political scandal.

Seamonkey Madness
4 - 11 - 16

Stupid council/journalist news now!!
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/85997668/car-park-beside-wellingtons-michael-fowler-centre-could-become-latest-highrise-hotel

It almost beggars belief that people (especially councillors!) have forgotten that there is a massive sewer holding tank below the MFC carpark. If the idiots go ahead, you’d better bloody hope they’ve got the infrastructure as-builts accurately mapped & recorded…

As mentioned here: http://eyeofthefish.org/seaside-cities-rising-waters/
(and also here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0408/S00078.htm)

Leviathan
4 - 11 - 16

Seamonkey – more about hotels here: http://eyeofthefish.org/hotels-springing-up-like-weeds/

60MPa
5 - 11 - 16

Long Gulley is the area called “Fault Line” in the map above