New neighbourhoods for Horowhenua
Horowhenua’s towns and villages may gain some entirely new neighbourhoods, the district council says.
At the last full meeting of the year on Wednesday, the council voted to adopt its Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, which would allow it to plan next year for new neighbourhoods.
The strategy would “open the door to community conversations” and identify what is needed for successful future development of urban and industrial areas and where that development should occur, the council said.
Growth response manager Daniel Haigh said Horowhenua was in the early stages of district-wide transformation.
“Our population is expected to increase by a third in the next 20 years,” he said.
“However, growth in the past three years has exceeded expectations and, if maintained, will see Horowhenua reach those levels in the early 2030s.”
Haigh said the new strategy would help make sure development is managed well, and would take into account future land needs.
Infrastructure, environmental protection, transport links, effects on existing residential areas, community development, and land for business and industry were all covered under the strategy.
The NZ Transport Agency would also play a pivotal role in the planning, Haigh said.
The route of a new expressway from Otaki ¯ to North of Levin that would have a major effect on decisions over planning in the district has not yet been announced, after months of delays and a re-evaluation process.
Haigh said they would also need to consider how to maintain the existing character of current residential areas, especially in smaller settlements, and avoid development in high-risk areas, as well as accommodating how land was already used — particularly in rural areas.
“We need more residential development, but it’s vital that it happens in a way that makes our district a better place to live, work and play. It must be sustainable and help us improve our environment,” he said.
Strategy and development group manager David McCorkindale said this year had been about discussing Horowhenua as a whole district, whereas next year the focus would move to each individual location — first on the list being Levin, Foxton Beach and Waita¯ rere.
“We will be creating master plans for new neighbourhoods in growth areas in each location and that will then lead to District Plan changes,” he said.
Mr McCorkindale said later in the year, a District Plan change to rezone some of the growth areas identified in the Growth Strategy will be presented.
The affected areas include Foxton Beach, Foxton, O¯ hau, Manakau, Tokomaru and potentially Waikawa Beach.
Rural subdivision and development standards will also be put under the microscope.