Hous­ing pro­posal clears 2nd hur­dle

Cambridge Edition - - HEALTH - LIBBY WIL­SON

A new sub­di­vi­sion could bring 1800 homes to north­west Hamil­ton, but the city will have to grow out to them.

Ro­tokauri was one of three fast-track hous­ing ar­eas - rep­re­sent­ing about 2000 homes - which Hamil­ton city coun­cil­lors put through to the next stage last week.

All three spe­cial hous­ing area pro­pos­als will go to cen­tral gov­ern­ment for ap­proval, and their de­vel­op­ers must sign fur­ther agree­ments with coun­cil.

A 133-hectare swathe of Ro­tokauri - ru­ral land bor­der­ing Waikato District - could take 1450 to 1800 homes, Green Seed Con­sul­tants Ltd says.

Coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously ap­proved send­ing the plan to cen­tral gov­ern­ment, but sev­eral were wor­ried the area would be iso­lated.

‘‘It’s not part of a nat­u­ral growth path where we’re adding an­other de­vel­op­ment on to one that’s next door,’’ Coun­cil­lor Rob Pas­coe said.

Coun­cil must care­fully iden­tify the costs up front to avoid sur­prises, he said.

Cr Dave Macpher­son was con­vinced the city would grow out to the de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘The prob­lem is for the 10, 15, 20 years in between - the connections to the city.’’

He was told school­ing pro­vi­sion was on the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion radar, but was wor­ried cen­tral gov­ern­ment would move too slowly.

Four­teen sub­mit­ters on the Ro­tokauri pro­posal shared views rang­ing from ‘‘We do not want to live in an area that looks like Coronation Street‘‘ to ‘‘I sup­port it with all my heart.’’

Peter Mur­phy pre­dicted an un­for­tu­nate legacy left by an ‘‘iso­lated, un­sup­ported de­vel­op­ment’’ and Linda Bu­rak said it could be an as­set if done taste­fully, not with ‘‘same-same box brick hous­ing’’.

Coun­cil might hear from more res­i­dents as the project pro­gresses, Cr Garry Mal­lett said, be­cause not ev­ery­one is up with what’s pro­posed.

‘‘In say­ing that, it’s hard to turn your nose up at more than 1000 houses, if they do get built and they do get sold.’’ Traf­fic was a con­cern for sub­mit­ters and coun­cil­lors, and a New Zealand Trans­port Agency sub­mis­sion said coun­cil should watch that the sub­di­vi­sion didn’t cre­ate a need for un­planned and un­bud­geted up­grades to the trans­port net­work.

Cr Paula South­gate was ex­cited at the pos­si­bil­ity of a large num­ber of houses be­ing built speed­ily as, in the same meet­ing, coun­cil­lors also ap­proved the progress of two other spe­cial hous­ing ar­eas.

An­other unan­i­mously ap­proved was a Porter De­vel­op­ments Ltd’s pro­posal for 185 homes on its for­mer head­quar­ters in Ea­gle Way, Te Rapa. Sub­mit­ter con­cerns about this site in­cluded the prospect of homes back­ing on to in­dus­trial land and the im­pact of ex­tra ve­hi­cles.

And coun­cil­lors voted 6-5 to send a 47-home Hamil­ton Lake pro­posal to Gov­ern­ment. Fos­ters De­vel­op­ments Ltd al­tered its plans af­ter op­po­si­tion from res­i­dents around the Gil­bass Av­enue-Quentin Drive site, but the res­i­dents were still wor­ried about traf­fic, hous­ing de­sign and water runoff.

Vot­ing against the Gil­bass de­vel­op­ment were Crs James Cas­son, Siggi Henry, Garry Mal­lett, An­gela O’Leary, and Leo Tooman. Cr Ge­off Tay­lor was ab­sent.

MARK TAY­LOR/STUFF

The pro­posed 133-hectare Ro­tokauri de­vel­op­ment is on ru­ral land which bor­ders the Waikato District (file photo).

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