Dunedin's first proposed co-housing development has received
mass support from submitters.
Supporters say the development is courageous and far-sighted,
puts Dunedin at the forefront of fostering innovative housing
solutions and will inspire other cities to follow in its
However, the plan does have its detractors, some of whom are
concerned the development could become a slum or look like
Fifty-four submissions were received on the application from
Urban Co-housing Otepoti for consent to build the 26-unit
co-housing neighbourhood on the site of the former High
Co-housing is a combination of private homes and shared
common spaces, such as gardens, and facilities such as
kitchen and dining areas.
The proposal has been developed by a group of about 12
Dunedin families who bought the site with a view to building
a shared community.
Members have previously said all members would share in the
design and operation of the development, but each dwelling
would have its own title and people would not share finances.
In submissions to the Dunedin City Council, supporters hailed
as forward-thinking the proposal, which is modelled on a
similar community in Auckland called Earthsong.
It is proposed to also involve a social housing element, and
seek investors who would buy a house and rent it at a low
rent to families who could otherwise not afford to buy one of
Supporters said the project would have great social and
environmental benefits for Dunedin.
It was well-considered, homes would be well insulated and
energy efficient, it was close to the city and shops,
encouraged use of active and public transport and fitted the
council's moves to reduce urban sprawl and encourage more
medium-density central city housing and sustainable
communities, they said.
Several of the submitters came from outside Dunedin,
including one Christchurch woman who said she and her family
would move back to Dunedin to live in such a development.
''The concept is extremely attractive and efficient,'' Nicola
''The modern, passive housing, a close community,
intergenerational, diverse and skilled residents from a mix
of socioeconomic situations, the better use of resources and
being inner city are all factors we like and would consider
''We have been looking for a year at Dunedin's housing and
much of the stock is old and cold. We also want to be active
in the city and part of a healthy community that brings our
experience, business and commerce back to a city we love.''
She also had friends, all with resources and skills, who had
said they would consider moving to Dunedin for the same
reasons, she said.
Four submitters opposed the development, citing concerns
about design, density, noise, the location of communal
facilities, increased traffic and pressure on parking, the
removal of trees around the site, the conflict with the
heritage status of the area and a decrease in the general
tranquillity of the area.
A neighbour, Louvain Johnston, said she had supported the
idea, but was ''horrified'' when she saw the plans.
''I did not expect the view from my home to be of a solid row
of the back of seven, three-storey homes very close to the
street. It looks like a tenement.''
A date is to be set for a hearing before a councillor panel,
which, through the resource consent process, will consider
the scale of the development, whether the infrastructure
could handle it and effects on neighbours, before deciding
whether to consent.