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Wellington City Council vote against review of Shelly Bay development

Wellington City Council has voted overwhelmingly to not agree on terms of reference for a review into the proposed Shelly Bay development, and it’s uncertain whether a review will occur.

Mayor Justin Lester said the vote was 11 to three, with one councillor not present.

He said the matter won’t be addressed in the foreseeable future, and might not ever be revisited.

When the council voted to sell and lease land to The Wellington Company for part of its proposed $500 million development at Shelly Bay in September 2017, it also voted for a full review.

This was agreed to include examining decision making, legal and final risks and if the Resource Management Act 1991 had been followed.

Last year the Court of Appeal quashed an earlier decision granting resource consent, finding the impact on the environment from the proposed development wasn’t given enough consideration by the council.

The 350 unit development has been opposed by Enterprise Miramar, some Taranaki Whānui iwi and filmmaker Peter Jackson.
A spokesman for the council said the completed reconsideration of the application for resource consent by independent commissioners would be at least a few weeks away.

At a council meeting today, developer Ian Cassels said he had no objection to a review and remains confident resource consent will be regranted.

“In our world, in the world of commerce, a deal is a deal is a deal, like you live by the deal that you do and you ought to be able to rely upon it,” he said.

“It looks like there is a move to upset this whole arrangement and that’s very concerning.”

Mr Cassels said he can’t believe how good of a deal the proposed development will be for Wellington ratepayers, with the council’s cost contribution for infrastructure capped at $10 million.

“I think it’s inappropriate for council to be acting the way they are in view of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in February 2009 which committed to developing Shelly Bay for the benefit of Port Nicholson, the public of Wellington and visitors to Wellington.”

Image depicts housing in the planned Shelly Bay development. Source: Supplied