Future of the Naenae Library site

3 months ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

As well as the projects included in our Annual Plan, Hutt City Council is exploring options for the site of the Naenae Library once it has relocated to the new Community Hub. We want to make sure its future use helps revitalise Hillary Court and the area around it.

We’ve been exploring options and we believe housing would be a good option, as it could be transformational and make Hillary Court safer, more vibrant, and more attractive to businesses. It would also help with the city-wide housing shortage, and could be designed to meet the needs of today’s Naenae residents.

You’ll see we’re also looking at housing as one option for the redevelopment of the Petone library for the same reason – an opportunity to provide much-needed safe and warm homes for current and future residents of Lower Hutt.

  • What are your thoughts on housing as part of the future Hillary Court design?
  • What else could be done on the Naenae library site?
  • What else could we do to revitalise Hillary Court and the area around it?

  • Nō Naenae ahau 4 months ago
    The great thing about the library being on its current site is:- it brings people into the mall giving foot traffic for businesses- it has lots of glazing so creates passive surveillance of the pedestrian mall helping keep people safer- it is a safe place with good staff, where all are welcome, in an area where people sometimes feel unsafe.I would prefer that HCC review the idea of having the hub outside the mall, as it will draw the public out of that business space, and do the opposite of helping businesses and promoting safety.If the library moves I would like to see it replaced with a public space where:- all are welcome- has friendly attentive staff- has lots of glazing giving passive surveillance to the mall.The best ideas I have heard for this so far are for a drop-in arts or cooking / gardening space which would provide opportunities for people who are not employed to learn new skills, find community and interact with others. This is a community need. Another community need is language learning. The other community need I'm aware of is for the existing Playcentre to find new accommodation. A shared arts or cooking space would need many of the same things the Playcentre would need, and would enable the space to be used at various times by various groups, increasing its usefulness. It would also add to the number of groups that could invest in it.A citizen's advice bureau, while not bringing in the same amount of foot traffic as other services would compliment other uses by bringing staff members who are attentive to the public into the space.It is important that not only the library site, but also the former post office site be used in a way that welcomes the public and increases foot traffic and the number of 'eyes on the street' (people seeing and looking out for each other). This will help businesses to thrive in the mall, and increase safety.Housing alone would not be sufficient to do this, but would be appropriate above ground floor as part of a mixed use development. 'Big box' development or a cinema also wouldn't work so well on the library site as it would block views into the pedestrian mall, but these things could work well in the former cinema / Woolworths building which is set back from the centre of the open space.
  • SJM 4 months ago
    Hillary Court has an interesting design history and it would be a shame to pretend it never happened. Rather than smothering Hillary Court with housing, keep it more mixed. I agree with the comment from earlier about keeping an easy thoroughfare from the trains & buses, and also agree with the comments from people worried about the currently unsafe feel in the Oasis area. Some housing could work if it's not a massive high rise and doesn't wipe out everything else, but it would be lovely to retain the wide mall area and the children's playground, with some more greenery. It would also be great if there was a supermarket again (one of the more affordable chains). It seems to be impossible to do anything useful in Naenae like top up a snapper card, buy school stationery or a book. The best thing that's happened in ages is the Trade School Kitchen. Whilst a hub is great we still need outdoors places to hang out and meet on a sunny day, and have your toddlers play safely outdoors. Maybe even a coffee cart space? Please don't just let Hillary Court die or become a space for aggressive begging in the damp shadow of a large housing complex whilst commuters hurry away with their keys between their knuckles.
  • Nicky 4 months ago
    Please don't put housing there, it's bad enough with the oasis people hanging out and being aggressive and rude. They have changed the whole tone of the centre. No more please. Extend the park maybe. Its one of the most used space, mind you that could be because the library is there. If you move the library knock the building down, don't put more housing. Especially there. You have school kids and adults catching trains and buses all the time. If you want the center used get rid of gang of down and outs they're scary. Encourage new shops, get some of the older shops to update and tidy up there buildings. Social housing has no place in a shopping centre.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Nicky 4 months ago
      Oops I meant to say, why don't you do up the current library and the play ground an leave where they are. Do the hub where you planned and that would mean the whole centre is the hub, there would be plenty of parking using all of the area and having it concentrated on one side? You could always purchase the Da deals building and the old sallies shop and turn that into the computer hub you mentioned.
  • GUNOT 4 months ago
    Why would anyone suggest to put housing as part of the future design? Obviously not the best location especially with having the Oasis Shelter there that prevents people of the community to go through because of their behaviour and intimidation... Move the shelter and make use of locations already established that can be beneficial to the community like how it use to back in the 90s (Fruit/Vege Stores, Banks, Music Store, Magazine Stores, Spacie Parlour... and even further back! Cinema, Skating Rink etc.) As for the library location... knock it down leave it clear... Would give a different/open look to Naenae and not to mention would be cheaper (especially than building housing!!) and utilise what is there already? extend the park and install more seating locations.And something definitely needs to be done about the beggars and loitering around Naenae... It's obvious how the community feels and should be acknowledged... Kia Ora
  • Beth 4 months ago
    I love the idea of investment in Naenae. I don't believe housing on this site is the best direction for that though. I saw an option for the block of shops across the way, on the other side of the mall directly opposite, as being developed for housing. I think that's a much better site. Then, we could have European town houses, with the library site used for a community initiative and associated road structure remain the same. I am not attached to the building at all, but strongly want the land to remain in council ownership and roading and green space to remain. What else could be done? I am still attached to the idea of the hub being on this site, though it seems the decision to have it by the pool is complete. A modern, two or three story building, that incorporates the deco roots of the area for community events and the arts, with a sport centre going on the Hall site with a splash pad like Raumati and concrete rink like Tawa... Let's distribute the community sites through the area to encourage sprawl and link the private property between. Oh, and some proper reference to Sir Edmund Hillary in Hillary Court and Everest Avenue is desperately needed! In fact, I would really expect the message of endurance, resilience and determination that Hillary represents to be a key design aspect of the area no matter what happens.
  • Tania7566 4 months ago
    My sister and I walk passed there to go and catch a train at 6 am and 5pm everyday. At present we have emergency housing or halfway house residents sitting by Naenae dentist. Drinking, in afternoons and shouting very lewd comments to females walking past. On the Naenae page a 14 year old girl just got assaulted. And dont forget the beggars asking for money daily. Dont use a Atm in Naenae you have beggars sitting right there.Hillary Court is unsafe and dangerous. Scary for children. I wouldn't let my granddaughter down there if you paid me. So you think by putting affordable housing in one place is the way to go. You are making slums. Dont forget the tunnel to the station. The cameras are unmanned.
  • Mel 4 months ago
    I don't think this space is appropriate for housing. I cannot invisage housing working here. I think it is a nice space for the local library. Otherwise a good space for a big green play area, lots of trees, splash pad, social area! Without the library, my whanau will have little reason to visit Hilary court, and therefore surrounding businesses.
  • LRG 4 months ago
    Housing wouldn't work there, what with the subway and after school with the all the kids and people getting on/off the train. Let alone the noise the from the trains and the bus stop. What about the park? What's gonna happen to that? I know it needs more attention payed to it but it's always used and played on. Even the carpark for Hillary Court and the shops, having a big old housing building there. I mean dont get wrong, Naenae definitely needs more housing, but not there! Leave the library where it is.
  • Joel 4 months ago
    Yes Hillary Court should be developed with new housing developments that include good quality community space. Property at or near public transport hubs like the Naenae station need to be developed with medium to high density housing which will also support local business and make streets and public spaces more vibrant.
  • Janene 4 months ago
    I don't think housing would work there, who would want to here what happen s in that subway after dark. I think a decent fenced playground would be great, it would be used by local schools and early childhood centres and it gets our little ones out into the community and where the current playground is may be extend the parking or nice gardens with a seating area, picnic table
  • AmandaRichards 4 months ago
    I see housing as a very important part of Hillary Court's future. Ideally, I think there should be mid-rise (2-4 stories) flats above ground floor retail throughout most of the shopping area. This would be difficult due to complex ownership structures and varied quality of buildings, but would bring people to the area, with benefits to safety and retail. Major issues have been repeatedly raised at various official and unofficial forums regarding the current housing of recovering addicts in Hillary Court. While I understand that everyone has a right to live somewhere, this was a short sighted decision, jeopardising the entire future of Hillary Court, as many people feel unsafe in the area, or just find it unpleasant in general. I think all options for re-opening that resource consent should be considered, including requiring structural/operational changes by the housing operators to make sure that their operation is not negatively affecting Hillary Court. This should be part of any considerations of the future of Hillary Court, especially pertaining to housing. I am not entirely against the idea of replacing the front part of Hillary Court with housing. I agree with the spatial assessment that there is probably too much retail space in Naenae for the 21st century. But housing in this area alone will not save Hillary Court. Council should consider the possibility of building housing above shops as well, and options for the old post office building to become a new "centre of activity" as the library once was. I support the Hub, but there needs to be something in Hillary Court as well. Potential options for the old post office building could be co-working space like The Settlement in Petone/Porirua, an arts/performance space, a cafe, or all of the above. And of course, the clocktower should be maintained as a Naenae landmark and icon. Housing should serve a mixture of income levels, with a focus on young families who want to own a home for under 500k. (Potential scheme for low deposits but with rules about the housing needing to be owner occupied for 5 years like Riverside Gardens?) It would be great to have Hillary Court become a small semi-urban "village" like in the UK or midtown Houston that brought new people into Naenae for dining or shopping but also was the centre of life for people living in Naenae. Again, housing alone will not achieve this. Council must be more ambitious, and if selling off some public assets is the way to make this happen, Council needs to be open to feedback and transparent about the tradeoffs.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • AmandaRichards 4 months ago
      Another "village" example could be Paikakariki. Forgot to mention as well that visual link and walkability to train station should be maintained. It would be bad if you had to walk AROUND a huge block of housing to get from the station to the village. (THROUGH would be better, and would allow continuity with the pedestrian mall, which is an important heritage aspect of Hillary Court and something that more and more retail areas are wishing that they had.)
      Hide reply (1)
      • JSA 4 months ago
        Council don't own the Post Office, they own the library. Couldn't the library building be retained as a "centre of activity" with housing built above and around it as you mention, just as Council are proposing in Petone? I agree that housing in Naenae should serve a mixture of income levels. There are many whānau in our community who will never afford $500k. They should be cross-subsidising across the city according to local average household incomes. Which means selling the same house for $405k in Naenae as you'd sell for $1 million in Tirohanga.
  • Alice 4 months ago
    The Naenae Library site would be a perfect spot for a library.
  • SH 4 months ago
    Pump life into Hillary Court as a community hub and retail. Make it a place that is fun and safe for families. On Saturday afternoon or weekdays after 5 pm, everything is shut and locked. Commuters coming off the train, people going to the pool, foot traffic is there but they're not encouraged to browse the shops. Make that attractive and safe, and it will be make the surrounding streets a great place to live.
  • P. Erson 4 months ago
    We need housing. We do not need housing here. This is not the place. It would make those living in it stressed and at risk to the goings on in Hillary Court. If you can continue to think the community wants housing here the way you are engaged with the community is very minimal and flawed . Who exactly are you looking to help by doing this? Who are you trying to edify by this ' development'. We do not want housing here. We do not want to more empty shops. We do not want Hillary Court to lose it's identity and role as the heart of Naenae. Listen! Don't reply with a bunch of justifications for this unpopular action. Don't ignore us. Just listen. Not only are you harming the current Actualy Working social infrastructure you have terribly damaged your relationship with the community. Recover your Mana and be a servant to the needs of this community. For shame. Enough half truths, steam lrolling and misdirection.
  • Alice 4 months ago
    Everyone agrees there is a need for more housing. But Council is only seeing dollar signs when they look at Hillary Court. If housing really must go on that site, why not add it above the current building, and have some sort of community centre at ground level? A true multi-purpose place (as opposed to Council's definition of empty rooms for hire at prohibitive costs) - accessible to everyone, close to transport, parking, shops and in the middle of a revitalised pedestrian space that people actually want to spend time in. The proposed eight million dollar muti-purpose box on the corner of Treadwell Street will be a symbol of HCC's rigid arrogance about what's best for communities such as ours, and what happens when the very people you claim to be helping are allowed no meaningful say in your plans.
  • Mr Tamihere 4 months ago
    Release land up the back of naenae to build 200+ new homes. That may release the pressure of the housing in the hutt. The library would be a great supermarket. I would much prefer that the site be retained for community use or made available to a business which will genuinely benefit our wider community.
  • Likeit 4 months ago
    We should keep this as public space, instead of selling off community assets, this community is already struggling, how about turning the old library space into a true community centre led by the community, like a community house, with artists spaces, shared work spaces, and services such as Citizens Advice Bureau, social workers, etc. There are other reserves(such as the one on Naenae Road, next to a bus stop) that would be better for ratepayer owned housing.
  • SomeRandomNaenae 4 months ago
    Housing benefits only a small number of people - unless the Council is proposing building an apartment skyscraper.Hillary Court is prime land close to public transport and the shopping center. It should be used for a purpose that will benefit and attract many people, not just a few who live there.It makes no sense for housing developments to encroach on a shopping centre / community centre. Housing developments belong in the massive amount of space all around it.I don't want another legal highs store or liquor store in Naenae but even that would be a better use of this space than housing.
  • Ryan 4 months ago
    The space is for community use, not housing. The community shouldn't lose public space because the council can't think of other places. What about clearing up the regulations for tiny homes to help with the housing shortage? Think a bit harder, don't take our space.
  • J 4 months ago
    I would prefer the library be upgraded, a safe place for kids and teens to hang out. It’s great to keep the space for the community. Also keeps people in work.
  • JSA 4 months ago
    Housing on the library site will do little to revitalise Hillary Court (instead, locking up publicly-accessible land) or address safety issues in our pedestrian mall. We need the library site to benefit the many, not just a few. I would much prefer that the site be retained for community use or made available to a business which will genuinely benefit our wider community.If there is to be housing in Hillary Court it should be located discreetly above shops (as some already is), not on street level - our mall was designed for retail, not front yards. And serious consideration must be given to the impact of residents on the mall itself. We are already suffering negative impacts from recovering addicts being housed in the mall. Council owns plenty of other reserve land in Naenae and other suburbs which could be developed for housing, or existing Council housing could be intensified as Housing New Zealand sites in Naenae, Epuni and elsewhere are. If housing is developed on the library site or elsewhere in Naenae, I object to any talk of "affordable housing" which isn't truly affordable to families in our community with two parents working on the minimum wage. That's where the true need lies.