Havelock North residents are concerned about the effect 400 new houses could have on their community.
It was announced last Thursday that a plan to rezone an area off Iona Rd and Breadalbane Ave for residential use had been approved by Environment Minister David Parker.
The plan could see more than 390 houses built on the western side of the suburb.
Resident Juliet Cottrell said they were unaware of the extensive nature of the plan when they bought their property.
“When we purchased here we knew there was some proposed housing possibly going to go on down the road, but we had no idea the extent of what is being proposed.”
She was concerned about the potential impact on the environment.
“The other concern is native birds and trees around the area. The environmental impact is going to be quite severe.”
Another resident, Rebecca Huckle, said she thought the area was not the right space to develop in.
“There’s no amenities on this side of town.
“There’s one primary school, and obviously two secondary boarding schools, but any children who live there will have to go clear across Havelock to either Havelock Primary, Te Mata, and also the high school, which is just bursting at the seams.”
A council spokesperson said the Ministry of Education had advised the growth at Iona can be accommodated within the existing school network.
Deputy principal of Havelock North High School, Joel Wilton, said the school was aware the detrimental effect increasing the roll could have if not well planned.
They were in the early stages of working on an enrolment scheme with the Ministry of Education to account for roll growth, the likelihood being HNHS will be less able to accommodate students from the wider Hastings and Napier area.
“Our intention is to remain the school of choice for our local community.”
Other concerns raised by residents were the possible noise from the building site and added pressure on Havelock North’s roads.
A resident, who asked not to be named, said there were already issues with roads in the area.
“As you come up Porter Drive and turn right into Middle Rd, which will be the main access into this progress, that’s already getting really jammed at that corner.
“I can’t see how you can bring in possibly 600 extra cars, and there’s space for that.
“From a purely selfish reason for us, it’s going to be at least eight to 10 years of noise, and dust and tractors and building homes.”
A council spokesperson said there are district plan noise standards which need to be met, along with New Zealand construction noise standards.
“Consideration of a traffic management plan at the time of subdivision is a discretionary council matter in response to submitters’ concerns.”
Hastings-Havelock North ward councillor Malcolm Dixon said Havelock North had a housing shortage, and was pleased the rezoning had been approved.
“It’s much-needed, to be honest,” Dixon said.
“There’s been a shortage of residential sections in Havelock North for about the last three or four years.”
One of the owners of the rezoned land, Andy Lowe, said he was excited to build something for Havelock North they can be proud of.
The red line outlines the areas that have been approved for housing.