Policy could hold back South Dunedin

Chairman of the Otago chapter of the Property Council New Zealand Geoff Thomas says policymakers need to be careful not to damage property development opportunities in South Dunedin. Photo: Gerard O'Brien.
Chairman of the Otago chapter of the Property Council New Zealand Geoff Thomas says policymakers need to be careful not to damage property development opportunities in South Dunedin. Photo: Gerard O'Brien.
Residential property development in South Dunedin could be ''squashed'' by the Dunedin City Council's overly cautious natural hazards policies, the Otago branch president of the Property Council New Zealand warns.

Geoff Thomas said a proposal under the proposed second generation Dunedin city district plan (2GP), to require all residential properties in the area to be movable, could stymie the replacement of housing stock.

The proposed policy ignored costs associated with residential development, including land, compliance costs and construction materials.

''Making residential housing relocatable doesn't make sense.

''I, personally, have sold a 1980s house with aluminium joinery for $1 to be moved.''

If approved, the proposal would result in either more substandard houses, or houses that would be ''very expensive'' to build, he said.

The natural hazards policies did not adequately consider current and potential technologies to manage sea-level rise and floods.

''I think South Dunedin is full of opportunity.

''A lot of the housing stock is from a day gone by. It is an opportunity to do something with the area and our concern is we don't want to end up with a caravan park out there.''

Water drainage was a clear issue. A more reasonable approach to protect the economic viability of the area could be taken to address it.

Opportunities included man-made canals and wetlands in vacant areas in South Dunedin.

Dunedin City Council senior planner Paul Freeland said the movable housing policy was not considered to be overly cautious.

''It is not intended to squash residential property development in South Dunedin, but identify low-lying coastal areas, including South Dunedin, where investments in residential development, and the form of residential development, will need to be carefully considered.''

The provision of movable housing did not prevent the investigation into the use of technologies to improve South Dunedin, Mr Freeland said.

If flood protection measures were not implemented before the 2GP came into effect, insurance could become a problem, Mr Thomas said.

''I can see the day coming very soon where people will have trouble insuring their houses. The excess for flood inundation will ultimately make it too expensive to do.''

Other low-lying areas, including Aramoana and Harwood, would also be required to have movable residential buildings under the 2GP proposal.

margot.taylor@odt.co.nz

Comments

I do see where Mr Thomas is coming from... after all, canals could be fun. However, I'm also willing to bet that, should the council NOT put measures in place to address the risk of future flooding, developers will be the first to run for cover and to blame the council for NOT acting. Damned now if they do, damned in the future if they don't.

'Out there' is Here. Would like to hear views of Residents on housing portability first.

Aren't 'movable' houses likely to be more insurable than immovable, then?

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