New Basin Reserve housing precinct warrants careful design

December 21, 2023

News that ‘a housing and urban growth precinct’ will be part of the new developments around Wellington’s Basin Reserve has been welcomed by LIVE WELLington.

“LIVE WELLington has long been advocating for brownfields developments in the central city area, as there are many parcels of land in this area that could be developed for much-needed housing,” says convenor Jane O’Loughlin.

“It’s fantastic to finally see some movement on this, and we look forward to learning more details.”

LIVE WELLington is a volunteer group that advocates for density done well and a liveable city.

“LIVE WELLington is firmly of the view that carefully considered and deliberate whole-block development is key to obtaining good urban design and amenity for residents, rather than pepper-potting large buildings through single storey suburbs,” Jane O’Loughlin says.

“Simply upzoning and hoping for the best is not good enough.  If we want to be the Paris or Amsterdam of the South Pacific, proper planning needs to occur, to ensure new builds make the most of the space available, to consider how sunlight and shelter are incorporated into the design, and to provide communities with green spaces, nearby shops and places to meet their neighbours.” 

The area identified by the council and central government, northwest of the Basin Reserve, is well located for transport links and other infrastructure.  News reports indicate that the development could have 1500 new homes, in blocks up to 12 storeys high.

“Housing doesn’t have to be super high to deliver density.  It’s our hope that the development will think carefully about how it can deliver good amenity, an attractive townscape, and valuable housing for the city.

“This is a prominent spot, near two significant Wellington landmarks – the Basin Reserve and Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.  It’s imperative that care is taken to deliver an attractive development that adds to the mana of the area.”

LIVE WELLington noted there are further opportunities like this along Adelaide Road.

“It’s a positive sign that the council is working with the new government to get the best outcome for Wellington’s current and future population.”