Plans to build a new Shelly Bay

By Tema Hemi

The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, made up of Taranaki Whānui descendants, has released plans to build new homes and apartments in Wellington's Shelly Bay.  The trust is optimistic that in time Shelly Bay will become home to over 850 new residents and be a place many more will seek to experience.

Chairman of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust Neville Baker says, "There will be a first application for the consent as directed by the court and I expect that process to be straightforward because the court has given direction in terms of what needs to be presented to get this project over the line."

The Wellington City Council has supported the development but its support came with challenges, when council voted on the project it was a 5/7 split. 

Mayor of Wellington Justin Lester says, "We've been supportive as a council of them seeking a resource consent application for Shelly Bay.  We live in a democracy so there will people in favor and people against.  What we know is that we are about 3,800 houses short in this city, we need more construction and we need more supply."

The vision for the new look of Shelly Bay is a thriving village community. 

Baker says, "We made this investment some time ago.  We used part of the cash settlement from the Crown to buy this place so therefore we own it.  In terms of that, we have the right to develop it and i would hope that the council is cognisant of that. 

"The development of green areas which the public can enjoy- we're talking about a facility that will create a village concept where there will be retail and other activities that will be part of this community. We're talking about a ferry service from the CBD to Shelley Bay."

Despite concerns that Shelly Bay was very close to sea level and would be prone to frequent flooding, co-developers of the project, Wellington Development Company, say they are designing the development accordingly.  

"We need to get a return on our investment.  There have been challenges around Shelley Bay over the years and it needs to be given a green light," says Baker.