Village plan for Longlands
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.