Retirement plan for Te Awamutu

Plans for a retirement village covering almost 10ha feature in a move to open up land on Te Awamutu’s northwest boundary for development 14 years early.

Waipā District Council is consulting on Plan Change 12 to rezone a growth cell known as T2.

The cell is designated a ‘deferred residential zone’ and slated for development after 2035.

The bid to change it to a ‘residential zone’ would clear the way for residential development to begin earlier.

The application is termed a private plan change and has been made by Sanderson Group Limited and Kotare Properties Limited which has also proposed the retirement village concept.

Council’s district growth and regulatory group manager Wayne Allan said Plan Change 12 also proposes a structure plan to be included in the Waipā District Plan, which would allow the southern half to start from 2021, with the latter staged for development after 2035.

“T2 is currently deferred for any development beyond 2035 in the district’s growth strategy, Waipā 2050, however with our aging and rapidly growing population, the need to provide sufficient accommodation is appropriate,” he said.

“In addition, with the uplifting of this zone, we will need to amend the rules to allow for the retirement village activities.”

Submissions on the plan change opened last Friday and run until November 27.

The cell contains 41ha of rural land.  The proposed private plan change seeks allow 9.5ha of it to be used as a retirement village.

Retirement villages are growing in popularity – a major new complex is well underway on Airport Rd, Tamahere.

The Sanderson Group owns and operates two large-scale retirement villages in the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty

In September Retirement Village Association executive director John Collyns​ told Taranaki residents interest in retirement village developments was on the rise as   people sought a “safe haven” to live post Covid-19.

A planned $150m Summerset Group Holdings retirement village development in Bell Block – the second built by the group in and around New Plymouth in recent years – will add more than 300 new homes, including dementia-care apartments on an 8ha site.

Christchurch-based Qestral Group is close to opening the first home in a $190m development in Nelson. They will be part of a complex which features apartments, a specialised dementia unit and Yacht Club.

In Prebbleton, near Christchurch, work is underway on a village containing 101 villas, a 56-bed care home and 16 serviced apartments.

Just last week the News reported that Waipā District Mayor Jim Mylchreest had praised the decision of the Freedom Group to build one of its lifestyle villages in his district and said he would like to see something akin to the new Cambridge Oaks development replicated in Te Awamutu.

Submissions on the proposed Waipā change can be made at Te Awamutu or Cambridge council offices, or online.  For details go to waipadc.govt.nz/planchange12.

Featured image via twimage licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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