Housing Matters 3: Silverstream and Beach Grove
Housing Matters 3 was an informative local study tour to Kaiapoi, Waimakariri, to see examples of new housing developments in the Canterbury rebuild.
41 people from a variety of professions (designers, developers, builders, council officers and academics) boarded a Christchurch red bus at 7.30 to travel to Kaiapoi to take a critical look at Silverstream and Beach Grove housing developments.
First up was Silverstream where Fred Rahme (developer of Silverstream) shared his vision for this mixed use community which was designed around the stream. Higher density town houses border the stream and lower density, single storey villas on 400 - 450m2 sections provide more affordable housing priced from $400k.
Fred’s personal philosophy was to develop a community which his family would be happy to live in. The community includes 26 retail outlets (including restaurant, shops and gym). There are over three kilometres of walkway along the stream, with a clear separation of play areas for young children and recreation space for teenagers. Considerable investment went into under-grounding high tension power lines and clearly there is opportunity for infrastructure providers to work in partnership with developers to resolve this challenge.
In North Kaiapoi, Peter Freeman from Mike Greer Homes shared the company’s philosophy for delivering a variety of housing typologies and provided insight into Mike Greer’s partnership with Spanbild - Concision - to deliver factory-manufactured houses.
The Beach Grove development required considerable investment in integrated stormwater and land remediation. Over 2m of compacted material (reused construction rubble from quake damaged building in the city) was spread across the site to improve the land from TC3 to TC2.
Of key interest to the group was the partnership with Waimakariri District Council and the use of parallel consenting / alignment of subdivision and land use consents processes (where resource and building consents are processed at same time), which saved considerable time and cost, delivered certainty to the developer, and provided flexibility enabling the developer to change with the market.
Third stop was breakfast in the meeting room in the fabulous new Kaiapoi library overlooking the river. This provided the opportunity for a more in-depth discussion on planning / consenting processes, the challenge of delivering affordable housing (particularly as Kaiapoi lost almost 20% of its houses in the red zone and those homeowners wanting to continue to stay in Kaiapoi).