The Whitby Residents Association (Inc) was established about 40 years ago with the development of Whitby itself, and has played an active role in the village, and the facilities, services, and residential development.
Earlier this year, we completed our 2013 village plan, which itemised desirable development in Whitby and Silverwood going forward, including a ‘wish list’ of projects which will enhance the village and the lifestyle we all enjoy.
In 2030 Whitby will be the most desirable place to live in the Wellington region. It will have an upper quartile quality of life for all its residents as evidenced by a wide variety of housing styles, shops and community facilities. There will be an extensive network of interconnecting walkways covering all of Whitby and a higher than normal percentage of reserves. It will be a friendly, safe, caring community which is committed to the preservation of a sustainable lifestyle. It will show a strong affinity in its local character to James Cook and his exploration of Aotearoa.
Expansion Planned for Whitby Lakes Retirement Village
Whitby Lakes Retirement Village is proposing to embark on the next stage of its development, with the building of an additional 68 apartments, above the existing recreation centre, and in two other blocks – one linked to the main block but facing over the lower Whitby Lake, and the other a freestanding block of three storeys on Newhaven Way.
Whitby Lakes (2009) Ltd, the ownership company has lodged an application for resource consent to reconfigure the previously approved development stages for these apartments at the village.
Stage one of the proposed development will be a three storey block of 26 apartments above the existing recreation centre , and adjacent car parking building which will be accessed off New haven Way. Stage two is the Lakeside three storey blocks of 20 apartments, which will join up with the first block on the western end. Stage three will be the Newhaven stand along block, again of three storeys providing 22 apartments.
The proposal, outlined by Whitby Lakes owner and CEO Sandy Foster to the Whitby Residents Association at their monthly meeting is a “reconfiguration” to amend the layouts of the previously approved apartment buildings and lifestyle centre to better meet the expectations of the market and to improve the overall look and function of the village.
Mr Foster said that the amended configuration would provide 68 apartments, which was one less than the number already consented. The proposal final number of villas and apartments, and hence the number of people on the site would be slightly less than what had been already approved.
“The village owners aim to ensure that, through excellence in building design, landscaping and urban design, the proposed reconfigured development will enhance and enrich the neighbourhood and the community, and be an asset for the village,” he said.
Key elements of the design process include retention and enhancement of existing trees and landscaping; design of sustainable and energy efficient buildings; minimising the impact of the buildings along street frontages and boundaries, ensuring the impact of traffic from the site on Discovery Drive and Starboard Lane is no greater than at present, and creating an integrated rather than an isolated community within the village.
Mr Foster said that modern research had shown that not every apartment owner would want their own car parking space. He said they were looking at providing a fleet of well maintained ‘pool cars’ which could be used by apartment owners for their weekly trips out, but which by owned by the village management.
“We are providing about 60 car parks within the parking structure but for the apartments, we are working on two car parks for every three apartments.”
The apartments will be sold progressively, and the development will proceed progressively as sales dictate. Mr Foster anticipated that it would be a four year project, and when completed the 68 apartments will result in about another 120 people living on the site.
“A key focus for the owners is to also ensure that the village retains and strengthens its links with the wider community,” Mr Foster said. “We plan to be in the community for a long time, and it is important for us to be good neighbours and responsible business people. The residents support local business and services and the village owners have sought to build links with, and to provide support to the community through the Whitby Residents Association.
A new resource consent for this expansion work will be required from Porirua City Council, and this will be a notified public application. There will be the opportunity for community submissions from groups and individuals, and a likely public hearing before any decision is made.
Whitby Residents Association supports the proposal but ……
The Whitby Residents Association has supported this development, given the improved architecture and facades and the assurances given regarding extensive plantings to improve the appearance from across the lower lake.
The Association’s Vice chairman, Gary Sims said that the only remaining concern that the Association had related to the continued use of the unsealed temporary access road close to the lake, which the village owners wish to continue using for construction traffic and deliveries. That unsealed road leads from the existing mall car park, behind the mall, along the lake side and into the retirement village.
“The Association is concerned that bringing heavy machinery, trucks and commercial service vehicles over this unsealed road will create noise, dust and discomfort,” he said. “A continued use of this road access for two years or longer will substantially detract from the environment and ambiance of the area, and impact negatively on both visitors to the lake, and on patrons enjoying the facilities at the Whitby Mall, who largely will be Whitby and Silverwood residents.
“The Whitby Mall has recently undergone an upgrade, with several new retail outlets being added to the complex. These businesses are likely to be affected by construction traffic and materials being delivered. We note for example the recently opened restaurant, which is likely to have its main view and deck area covered with dust and affected by the use of the work access road, to the detriment of its patrons and the local community,” Mr Sims said.
“Similarly, we expect that those new businesses will all create extra traffic demand in an already busy car park used extensively by parents with young children. The existing car park is not being extended in a major way, so that more pressure will come on existing spaces. The practicalities of bringing heavy machinery and construction materials, probably including long beams and over length or over height fabrications into the site through a busy car park could create more problems.”
The Association believed that maintaining the serene nature of the lakeside next to the mall and minimising the effect of construction on visitors to the lake and the shopping mall were achievable outcomes.
“The construction area can be accessed by an existing sealed road from Discovery Drive, which passes through the existing village. While acknowledging the right of the retirement village owners to use both roads, the Association would like to suggest that deliveries and construction traffic use in the first instance the sealed road from Discovery Drive, rather than the unsealed temporary road via the existing car park.
“ If the latter must be used, the Association would ask that such use be restricted to the early hours of the day (say, between 6am and 11am), so that the lakeside area be clear for the remainder of the day and evening and be able to be accessed and used in safety by patrons, residents and visitors,” he said.
Our next meeting
The next meeting of the Whitby Residents Association committee will be held at Whitby Lakes Retirement Village recreation room on December 12, 2013, at 7.30pm. This is a different date from our normally scheduled meeting. The main items on the agenda will include updates on 2014/15 village planning, the Whitby Lakes Retirement Village proposed expansion, Silverwood planning, Mana Community Grants Foundation application for the Bradey Grave enhancement, and general business. All residents and ratepayers of Whitby are welcome, whether you are members of WRA or not.