Hous­ing is eat­ing into land zoned in­dus­trial

Hamilton News - - FRONT PAGE - Tom Row­land

Hamil­ton City Coun­cil is jug­gling the de­mands of hold­ing on to in­dus­trial land, while open­ing up space for spe­cial hous­ing ar­eas.

Since June 2017, the coun­cil has ap­proved sev­eral SHAS that, if con­sented, would to­gether re­sult in a loss of more than 60ha of in­dus­tri­ally-zoned land to hous­ing – Te Awa Lakes, Ea­gle Way (6ha) and Gil­bass Ave (3.8ha).

A re­port pre­pared for the coun­cil showed the trend that in­dus­trial land was on a steep down­ward trend with to­tal ca­pac­ity of in­dus­trial land down from 697.4ha to ap­prox­i­mately 630ha.

If ap­proved, the pro­posed Spe­cial Hous­ing Area (SHA) at Te Awa Lakes would mean the loss of 51ha of in­dus­trial-zoned land to hous­ing in Te Rapa north.

The Te Awa Lakes de­vel­op­ment led by Perry Group is ex­pected to sup­ply 1200 houses to the city.

The re­port, pre­pared by coun­cil staff, and pre­sented at this month’s full coun­cil meet­ing also said there was an “emerg­ing pro­posal” for a SHA at Ruakura that could re­sult in the loss of an­other 136ha of in­dus­trial land.

The re­port was re­quested by coun­cil­lors as part of the SHA plan­ning process to look at the im­pact on in­dus­trial land.

Ninety-six per­cent of the avail­able ca­pac­ity of Hamil­ton in­dus­trial land is in three lo­ca­tions: Te Rapa North, Te Rapa/ro­tokauri and Ruakura.

The coun­cil unan­i­mously passed a mo­tion that fur­ther work will be un­der­taken on sup­ply and de­mand for in­dus­trial land.

Dur­ing coun­cil dis­cus­sions, Mayor An­drew King had put up an­other mo­tion which would have had the re­port look into plan­ning

We need to look at some of these other ar­eas, and say where are we go­ing to have peo­ple liv­ing in 100 years time. If we don’t look at that we are not do­ing good plan­ning. Coun­cil­lor Dave Macpher­son

over the next 100 years for Hamil­ton, but re­moved it af­ter strong op­po­si­tion from city coun­cil staff to not re­strict their cur­rent in­ves­ti­ga­tion with an­other mo­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Dave Macpher­son said he was dis­turbed by the process that was fol­lowed by coun­cil dur­ing the dis­cus­sion, al­low­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor spe­cial projects Blair Bow­cott to de­bate at the ta­ble.

“With all due re­spect to Blair, I think we had a mem­ber of man­age­ment giv­ing a speech in the de­bate against the mo­tion, which then caused it to be with­drawn,” Mr Macpher­son said.

“The con­text for why we need in­dus­trial land is be­cause some coun­cil back in 1989 ap­proved no land around the back of the city, and the prior mo­tion was try­ing to ad­dress that.”

“We need to look at some of these other ar­eas, and say where are we go­ing to have peo­ple liv­ing in 100 years time.

“If we don’t look at that we are not do­ing good plan­ning.”

Coun­cil­lor An­gela O’leary said that the spe­cial hous­ing ap­provals was an­other ‘cart be­fore the horse’ move by the coun­cil.

“I am sup­port­ive of spe­cial hous­ing ar­eas, but they have all been in our in­dus­trial land so we were mak­ing a de­ci­sion be­fore we knew all the in­for­ma­tion so this is an un­in­tended con­se­quence here.”

Coun­cil­lor Garry Mal­lett said that he re­spected Mayor King’s mo­tion, but didn’t want the process of plan­ning for the next 100 years to slow down the work that needs to hap­pen in the next 10 years.

“My po­si­tion on this is not against what An­drew has tried to do.

“I just do not want that to slow down us try­ing to ad­dress the is­sue of our short­age of in­dus­trial land in the city,” Mr Mal­lett said.

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