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February 25, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Kelburn development juggernaut rolls over residents

The University has recently filed a resource consent application with the Wellington City Council for the latest phase of its four-stage development proposal, despite opposition from residents in the area.

The Dominion Post reported that submissions on a $46.7 million teaching and research facility, to be built between the Cotton and Laby buildings as an addition to the Science Faculty, have since closed and an application was filed with the Council two weeks ago. According to facilities management director Jenny Bentley, draft designing of the facility is currently underway with a projected completion date in 2010. The facility follows the continuing construction of a $50 million student hostel on Fairlie Terrace, expected to house 400 students from the beginning of 2009.

Nearby residents have voiced concerns about the likely impact of the developments on the area. Among their concerns are resulting increases in noise, foot and vehicle traffic, as well as the obstruction of views and the integration of the buildings into the surrounding neighbourhood.

Some efforts had been made to ease these concerns during the development of the project. The number of floors on one side of the research facility had been reduced in response and a sloping roofline was designed to minimise the building’s protrusion into the skyline.

One resident maintained that the latest developments would result in the campus becoming a centre of constant activity. “The university hums… Bright lights in the [buildings] are left 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

[ssba]

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