Communities over golf

Communities over golf

I propose a redevelopment of 9 holes of Berhampore Golf Course. What is currently 9 holes could be 50% community facilities, and 50% social, affordable, and market homes.

I am calling on central government to allow Wellington to build genuine community facilities and homes on what is currently 9 holes of Berhampore Golf Course. This would require Berhampore Golf Course to be removed from the Wellington Town Belt.

Wellington currently has a dire shortage of homes, and in some places a shortage of community facilities. Yet 5 kilometres from the Beehive, we have a heavily subsidised golf course which only has 25 users a day. Donald Trump would be proud. This is a strange use of valuable land.

With nine holes of this golf course, let’s build a beautiful mix of community facilities and homes. It’s a win-win. Golfers can keep playing. The south Wellington community will have more community facilities. In this time of dire housing shortage, there will be more homes in Wellington.

For the community facilities I propose a co-design with the south Wellington community as to what they would like. For the social homes, this is a great location for some of the 750 social and affordable homes that Justin Lester promised 2 years ago. Ideally the remaining homes could be a mix of affordable and market homes.

Climate change impact

Wellington’s climate change document shows that our most spread out suburbs have the most carbon emissions. If we build medium density homes in central, well-connected locations such as Berhampore rather than in isolated new suburbs we can expect a decrease in per capita carbon emissions, as people living centrally close to carbon neutral transport options can commute and connect easily.

Supporting facts and figures

  • "The typical town belt character is poorly developed in this sector due to the open nature of the golf course" - This is direct from section 8.6 of the town belt management plan, p 135

  • p.135 of the management plan has the golf course size at 37.1 hectares (91 acres).

  • 25 players or less using the course daily comes from this article.

  • 100 members from Andy Foster quote in this article. This also has the cost to the council at $150,000 which equates to $1500 per member.

  • From December 16 to March 19, the number of applicants on the social housing register in Wellington has gone from 183 to 361 - almost doubled. You can go here and download the spreadsheet and look on the TA - summary tab.

  • The same spreadsheet has a TAB called TA - priority. This has over 300 applicants in Wellington city as Priority A - "The household is unable to access and/or sustain suitable, adequate and affordable alternative housing."

  • If we use 9 - 10 hectares (a quarter of the entire 37.1 hectare golf course) for housing we could get somewhere between 6-800 houses at a medium density (up to three stories). This would be similar to the Altair development in Newtown - see page 3. The Altair is an exemplar used by council for medium density housing.

Conor Hill