New neigh­bour­hoods for Horowhenua

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS -

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.

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