Housing proposal clears 2nd hurdle
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.
The proposed 133-hectare Rotokauri development is on rural land which borders the Waikato District (file photo).