I recently participated in the an urban development survey for TDC. The survey questions and my answers are reproduced below.
What kind of high density housing could work well in Richmond?
High density housing (HDH) should be allowed in areas that require revitalisation and which would be uneconomic to redevelop but for HDH. HDH should not be allowed in large greenfield developments. This will incentivise HDH in more central areas closer to transport hubs and services. HDH should not be allowed in large greenfield developments as these are usually further away from the central town. However, small clusters of HDH (for example, 6 houses) in large greenfield developments could be allowed to enable a more balanced socio economic mix. Large estates of HDH should not be allowed as this will tend to create ghettos of low socio economic classes of people. Council should be aiming for a balance approach.
What do you think about Council’s reasons for looking into higher density forms of housing?
The reasons for examining the issue are valid. Although the population growth pressures may in the long terms not eventuate unless more people move to Richmond. I support the council in not allowing multi-level apartment buildings. Furthermore, general housing prices may fall as more people move into retirement homes.
Where in Richmond do you think it might be more suitable for higher density development?
If the aim is to revisitalise already developed areas of the town that are run down, then the reasoning is good. However, HDH should not be seen as a new form of greenfield development. For example, very large retirement villages or life style villages. Large HDH estates can create rapid pressure points on parts of the community that a small cluster approach can avoid.
If the aim is to provide low cost housing for low socio economic people, then incentivising development in already run down areas is the best approach. This will improve the overall health of the wider community while providing better quality and more affordable housing for those that need it.
What do you think Council should do to facilitate higher density development?
Only in already developed areas that require revitalisation or in small clusters (eg 6 houses) mixed in with a standard housing development to create a more balanced socio economic development.