Developer's Diary

This is a rant.  At the time of writing this, I’ve had an application for resource consent for one of my developments at Council for the last 4 months.  We’re stuck on a variety of issues, some rather innocuous and some more controversial because of the nature of the area that I am developing in.

This is not a rant with Council, perhaps surprisingly!  What it is, is a rant about the resistance to change by the neighbourhood in which we’re trying to create greater housing choice and quality.

It shouldn’t matter whether we are developing in a high-socio economic area or one that is less so, but I can tell you it does.  It’s incredible that because of the area and its wealth, there is a heightened sense of awareness of not upsetting the neighbours.

The development follows the intent of the Unitary Plan and is compliant.  But as the neighbours have got wind of the development, there is now increased scrutiny over the application, which is trying to create the exact change that the Unitary Plan has called for!

This is the not so fun part of development.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a challenge and solving problems.  But sometimes, when the arguments are based on pure emotion and NIMBY sentiment, nothing frustrates me more.

When I see support being rallied in an attempt to prevent change from happening and progress from being made, how can a city that is screaming for better actually get better when the ones who are working hard to make that change, are shackled from doing so?

It would be far different if our building was so far from compliance that we were seeking consent for a development that was out of the bounds of what the zone had intended.  The fact is, we’re not.  We’re well within the tolerance of the plan and largely delivering what the plan has called for.  It’s a laughable situation.

It saddens me that we have to work so much harder just to get the same job done.  And unfortunately the cost is not lost, it will feed to the bottom line and simply drive the cost of housing up even further.

Graeme Fan