Vil­lage plan for Long­lands

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

A Mata­mata woman is an­gry she’s been asked to sell her prop­erty so it can be used to make way for a re­tire­ment vil­lage.

Betty Bayly has owned her home and ad­ja­cent sec­tion on Bur­wood Rd for 44 years but soon the ad­ja­cent sec­tion may be needed to pro­vide a drive­way to a pro­posed de­vel­op­ment by Free­dom Vil­lages.

The com­pany man­ages vil­lages for the over-50s and is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the well-known Long­lands Res­tau­rant and Farm site at 80 Bur­wood Road for a re­tire­ment vil­lage.

The pro­posed vil­lage would have be­tween 120 and 160 build­ings, 200-240 hous­ing units, de­vel­oped over 9.67 hectares over fiveto-10 years. Each dwelling is lim­ited to two peo­ple.

News of the pro­posal has ini­tially not been wel­comed by some liv­ing near the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment site.

Bayly says she and a neigh­bour­ing Bur­wood Road home owner were ap­proached by a Mata­mata real es­tate agent, act­ing on be­half of Free­dom Vil­lages, to see if they would sell to make way for a new road into the de­vel- op­ment.

‘‘If I sell it, it will be for some­one to build on, not for a road. ‘‘But it’s not for sale.’’ A re­port on the de­vel­op­ment was mailed to Bayly where it out­lined the need for a new road con­nec­tion.

The ex­ist­ing road into the Long­lands prop­erty would not pro­vide the ac­cess it re­quired for the de­vel­op­ment.

It also stated an op­tion to pur­chase a Bur­wood Road prop­erty had been en­tered into, to pro­vide for a po­ten­tial fu­ture road con­nec­tion.

Bayly says that nei­ther her, nor her neigh­bours would will­ing to sell their homes..

‘‘They (Free­dom Vil­lages) are just wait­ing for some­one along here to sell their homes so they can snap it up. We want our prop­er­ties to be avail­able for fam­ily homes.

‘‘It seems a waste to turn this sec­tion into road­ing.’’

The neigh­bours sur­round­ing Long­lands were in­vited by Free­dom Vil­lages to at­tend an in­for­ma­tion meet­ing at the Long­lands site, to learn more about the de­vel­op­ment.

Free­dom Vil­lages Group Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Ja­cob Van Het be Wout said each of the vil­lages the com­pany de­vel­ops be­comes part of a com­mu­nity.

‘‘... so talk­ing to the lo­cal com­mu­nity to con­sider our next step is im­por­tant to us.

‘‘That’s why we re­cently vol­un­tar­ily met with 30 lo­cal res­i­dents at Long­lands to dis­cuss our plans, how our vil­lages work, and what im­pact the de­vel­op­ment may have on the area and their prop­er­ties.’’

Van Het Wout says after meet­ing with res­i­dents, he felt a ma­jor­ity could see the ben­e­fits of the life­style vil­lage com­ing to Mata­mata.

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