obtaining resource consent for a 20 storey apartment building and laneway development.
Services: Planning & Policy, Resource Consents
The project partners developed a concept for a 20 storey building on a site in Wellington’s CBD. The building design exceeded the site’s height limit by 35%. Our input to the project included:
Advising on the likely consent hurdles and the potential for success;
Working with the developer, architect, traffic engineer and other experts to address consent issues;
Ensuring that technical outputs by the project team were suitable for use in the consent application’s assessment of effects;
Preparing the resource consent application, including making a successful case for notification not being necessary;
Liaising with the council’s planner to ensure a smooth process;
Managing responses to further information requests issued by the council;
Negotiating practicable consent conditions with the council prior to the issue of consent; and
Obtaining an encroachment licence for those parts of the building that extend into the airspace above legal road.
4Sight’s planners have a strong track record in providing advice on land and building development projects. All development projects have elements of risk; and for many that includes whether resource consent can be granted. Our expertise is in helping to de-risk or at least thoroughly understand that aspect of the project. We do that through identifying consent issues and ways to resolve them, plus ensuring that the application process runs smoothly.
For this project, the effects of the building’s height meant that it faced challenges in terms of both effects and the district plan rules. We dealt with this by setting out to thoroughly understand the site, the neighbourhood, all relevant planning documents, and likely effects – and using that understanding to help craft our planning assessment. In particular, we were able to convince the council that the characteristics of the site, neighbourhood and building meant that the application should be non-notified.
Our job was greatly assisted by Archaus Architects’ design which was ultimately judged to meet the council’s requirement for ‘design excellence’. Design excellence comes into play if a central area building exceeds the permitted height threshold. The concepts of quality design and design excellence are woven into a detailed policy context which includes the need for assessment against the central area design guide.
Construction of the project began in mid-2017. We are keen to see the final outcome as it includes a new laneway – linking Dixon Street with Feltex Lane to the rear of the site. Ground floor commercial spaces will open onto the laneway, as will the building’s three entry lobbies to the apartments above. This promises to be a dynamic new space contributing to Wellington’s lively and liveable downtown environment.