Business Central December 2023

78 | Connemara Properties: Silverbrooke Development T T Richard Loader Silverbrooke - breaking the boundaries Silverbrooke is particularly innovative in the way the neighbourhoods have been arranged to encourage interaction between the residents. DEVELOPMENT It was 2018 when Serendipity Development first identified the 23 hectares of undeveloped land that came off SH1 near the Wellington suburb of Whitby, and which would become the very exciting and innovative Silverbrooke residential development. “The market perceived the land as being very challenging, and possibly too difficult to develop for residential use, but we saw it quite differently,” says Tim Campbell, the Principal of Connemara Properties, the company overseeing the development project. “The site had really steep topography with really deep gullies, the scale of earthworks was massive and it was in close proximity to Duck Creek (Wai-O-Hata) Reserve, a really important waterway. “T“here was also a high-pressure main supplying water to 80,000 people running through the middle of the site, which had to be relocated. Whilst these factors influenced our approach to managing risk, they were outweighed by the potential opportunities the site presented for residential development.” What Tim and his visionary team saw was the direct connection to the new State Highway 1, Transmission Gully; it was a stone’s throw from Whitby’s shops and schools; it had a sunny west-facing orientation with every single section facing the sun, many with great views; and there was an established native and exotic forest within the development zone. “We purchased the land in 2018 with existing resource consents in place,” says Tim. “However, we didn’t feel that the approved master plan aligned with how people wanted to live, or master planning best practice, so we set about redesigning the masterplan in close consultation with Porirua City Council. “Because the land had so much potential our approach to the master planning process was in some ways straightforward — defining the road hierarchy, arranging the neighbourhoods and carefully distributing the different housing types became a fairly logical process.” The masterplan allowed for 240 lots, with section sizes ranging from 200-250sqm, for medium density town housing, with the largest lots in the 800 – 850sqm size range. Tim says the design team didn’t set out for Silverbrooke to be innovative for innovation’s sake, but it wasn’t the first time Connemara has undertaken a complex residential project. “Silverbrooke is particularly innovative in the way the neighbourhoods have been arranged to encourage interaction between the residents, and in the care that has been taken in the allocation and distribution of the housing types. “There is a broad range of housing types that suit most budgets and most family sizes. That was important to us because Wellington is a relatively small market and if we produce two hundred and forty of the same thing we would run out of buyers before we ran out of product. “We also believe that good communities should accommodate a broad demographic, and that comes back to housing types and price points.” The design team also focused on ensuring that each of the neighbourhoods inside of Silverbrooke had awesome community facilities. T T to page 80 “This aspiration of community was the driver for all of Silverbrooke’s community parks and we love the fact they have already become centres for community life.” Where there are townhouses with a small front and rear yard, there are also greenspace facilities where kids can play, and families can spend time. “By community facilities we’re talking about kids parks, playing fields, and pocket parks where you can throw out a rug and enjoy the sun. The parks, the walkways and open space areas have been carefully distributed throughout the neighbourhood to act as anchors for the creation of neighbourhood culture. “Many of us grew up in communities like Silverbrooke, so we knew that this approach would suit the kiwi lifestyle.” Proud to be involved with the Silverbrooke Open Spaces Development. Commercial | Residential | Civil 14 Victoria Street, Petone, Wellington 021 428 034