Growth soars as Central ‘discovered’
A 500% increase in consents for new homes in the Alexandra, Clyde and Omakau area is ‘‘absolutely a positive’’, but the local council has to keep an eye on development, Central Otago’s mayor says.
The Vincent area, which includes the three towns, had five times as many consents issued from April to June this year as it did in the same period two years ago.
Across the whole Central Otago District Council area, there has been a 238% increase in new building consent numbers and a 282% increase in the dollar value of the consents issued in that period.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said the figures were great news.
‘‘We have to do modelling and predictions as to where that growth is going to take us and get infrastructure to meet that demand, while keeping that affordable for the current ratepayer base.’’
He said an example of the council aiding growth was the Vincent Community Board deciding to release a 6.5ha parcel of residential land in August, which could create 55 to 63 lots.
‘‘Some people want Central Otago to stay the way it was five minutes after they moved here, but we just can’t do that, because people are going to come anyway. If there’s no supply of land, then the price just goes up and I don’t think that’s good for anybody.’’
The growth of the area was due to a combination of factors, he said.
‘‘Central Otago has been discovered. A lot of people are finding it’s an attractive option to travel here from afar.’’
Council planning and environment manager Louise van der Voort said at a council meeting last week the rise in consents at times put a strain on planning staff.
While it had adequate staffing based on the number of resource consent applications, there were many unofficial queries from the public, which took up a lot of staff time.