Up at the top of Mt Victoria in Wellington are the Reservoir, the old Lookout, the new Lookout, the Byrd Memorial, the trig station, the castellated building bristling with communications antennae, and a load of tracks suitable for walking and cycling. It’s a beautiful and scenic area with gorgeous views all around from the road and footpaths.
The whole area is enormously popular with both locals and visitors. People arrive on foot, by bike, car or bus, then wander about all over the top of the hill, along Lookout Road or on the tracks. People run along here, mountain bike, jog, walk or wander.
For the last age, as I’ve walked the dogs, I’ve been watching progress on a building site that is probably actually on Robieson Street, downhill from Lookout Road. It’s a steep site, with builders accessing it from the top on Lookout Road.
This Google map is several years old and doesn’t reflect recent work on the Reservoir (top right):
View Larger Map
As the building has grown I’ve started to feel wonder, fear and hope: would building stop so the roof was level with or below the road? A bike ride today has blown that hope away. The City Council has allowed this building to totally interrupt and destroy the vista around the harbour, not only from road level, but from the small part of hill above Lookout Road by letting the structure rise above road level.
I took the photo above with my cellphone from an access path a couple of metres above the level of Lookout Road — close to the rectangular building at bottom left of the Google map. Click the photo to see a larger version. As you can see, some tall concrete structures tower above road height — already bad enough, but I assume there is more at that level to be added.
The sweep of the view has been totally interrupted and destroyed. If this building has received building consent, and it must have, then the Council have made a huge error of judgement. There’s no way this building’s height should have been allowed to exceed the level of Lookout Road.
Shame on the owner, the developer and the Council.