Developers are transforming four sites into 110 new homes as they move into a quiet suburban street in Lower Hutt

Residents of Raukawa St, like Terene Batten, say the 100 new homes to be built in the Stokes Valley area will negatively affect road infrastructure and their water services.

MONIQUE FORD/Stuff

Residents of Raukawa St, like Terene Batten, say the 100 new homes to be built in the Stokes Valley area will negatively affect road infrastructure and their water services.

Raukawa St neighbors Lower Hutt have sounded the alarm over developments that will add 110 homes to the dead end street which has less than 100 homes.

They fear that road, transport and water infrastructure will not cope and that the character of the sleepy Stokes Valley street, where bushland meets their back fences, will be changed forever.

“It’s just s…,” said Terene Batten, a resident of the street. “Not the right place for this, but it was a perfect storm of developers who wanted a lot and paid high prices.”

Residents say neighbors began selling to developers about 18 months ago, with back-to-back properties being targeted to maximize the site footprint for multi-unit developments. Two such projects received the green light from Hutt City Council this year, and two more are in the approval phase.

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One of the properties valued at $750,000 in 2019 sold to a developer for $2,255,000.

Redevelopment of residential sites has become big business in the Hutt, where intensification has spread to areas like Waiwhetu and Waterloo. Two-bedroom townhouses, with no parking, are being sold for more than $800,000.

Multi-unit developments, particularly townhouses, have become big business in the Hutt Valley.

MONIQUE FORD/Stuff

Multi-unit developments, particularly townhouses, have become big business in the Hutt Valley.

Residents of Raukawa Street recognized that there was a need for housing, but were unsure how their street could accommodate the additional homes offered by developers.

“The number of houses that come to the bottom of a very small valley – that’s a [huge] amount for a street,” Batten said.

“There’s only one bus service in Stokes Valley – there’s no station – I don’t see 200 people getting on the same bus in the morning. They will use cars that will be parked on the street.

THINGS

A change in the law will allow landowners in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch to build up to three floors without resource consent. (Video first published in October 2021)

Another Raukawa St resident, Anthony Burton, said the narrow street will effectively become a single-lane road once cars are parked on either side.

He was also worried about the street water supply. “If we replace three or four houses with [more than 100]how will this affect the water pressure up the street? »

Other residents said the “semi-rural” nature of the area would be marred by densification.

Alan Smith, a resident of nearby Stokes Valley Rd, said large areas that would need to be concreted would increase the risk of flooding. A stream running down Raukawa Street passes in front of his house.

“Rain won’t soak into the ground – it will run off those concrete areas and into the stream.”

Four multi-unit developments on Raukawa St have either been greenlit or are in the consent phase.  They will bring 110 new homes to the street which currently has less than 100 homes.

MONIQUE FORD/Stuff

Four multi-unit developments on Raukawa St have either been greenlit or are in the consent phase. They will bring 110 new homes to the street which currently has less than 100 homes.

Hutt City Council had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication, but Mayor Campbell Barry said concerns over housing build-up in the area were legitimate, particularly those over storm water. and the three-water infrastructure.

After following up with council officers and Wellington Water, he had been assured that the infrastructure would cope or the problems could be alleviated.

“I think the big challenge for the last three or four years has been developers coming from all over the country, from companies like Wolfbrook and Williams [Corporation], who chose to grow here in the Hutt,” he said. “We had not seen these kinds of developments [before].”

Barry said new legislation allowing intensification in urban areas would magnify infrastructure problems in areas that were unprepared for it. Rules like those not allowing the provision of off-street parking would create headaches for local authorities.

“It’s a bad policy that we don’t support. I’m really frustrated that this approach has been taken.

“My concern is that once these new government policies are in place, it will be so much more difficult than it already is.”

Barry was in favor of targeting areas for intensification, so that the infrastructure could be ready to accept development.

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