‘Over-height’ apartments

Proposed ‘over height’ development: 99 College Hill-18 Dublin Street
Mansons TCLM have applied for a resource consent under the Special Housing Area legislation to redevelop a site towards the top of College Hill that runs through to Dublin Street. The 2364 sqm site presently contains a two-level residential building originally developed as a motel, but which now contains 28 apartments. The proposal is to construct 49 apartments, 32 within two four-storey buildings on the College Hill frontage and 17 apartments on the Dublin Street frontage

The site has a curious mix of zonings – “mixed use” zoning near the College Hill frontage and “single house” zoning leading to Dublin Street. The latter is a low-density zone which, were it not for “existing use” rights, could only be developed with three dwellings as of right.

The four-storey proposal on the College Hill site does not comply with maximum height limit specified in the Unitary Plan at 13 metres (11 metres + 2 metres for roofspace). It is totally out of scale with the existing development in upper College Hill. No building in this sector of College Hill is more than three storeys, and most, including the historic Post Office and the other buildings at the main Three Lamps intersection, are two storeys.

In the simplest of terms, the bulk of this proposed development will dominate its surroundings and alter the character of this part of College Hill. In SMBA’s view the height of the two buildings nearest to College Hill should be limited to that of the surrounding buildings. Similarly, the proposed three-level structure on the Dublin Street frontage, with a height of up to 10.4 metres, does not comply with the height limit in the single house zone of eight metres.

Moreover, the addition of a  third floor to the existing building and the expansion of the building footprint results in a site coverage of 58%, much greater than the permitted site coverage for the single house zone of 25%, resulting in far greater bulk than the existing building on the site (which is already well above the permitted density in the single house zone).

The effect of the additional floor is that the proposed Dublin Street building is totally out of character with the existing scale and grain of development in Dublin Street, which is mainly small single level or two-storey villas on sites of 300sqm-350sqm. It will dominate the adjoining properties and affect their privacy.

In the SMBA’s view, the Dublin Street building should be no greater in bulk than the existing structure.

Because of these non-compliance issues with the now operative Unitary Plan, the SMBA considers that the resource consent should be publicly notified so that the affected parties may make formal submissions. Unfortunately, as the site has been designated a Special Housing Area, the SMBA does not have standing to make submission – only property owners directly affected have standing.