A huge chunk of land in Te Awamutu, already identified as one of the town’s growth cells, may become home to an affordable housing initiative between developers and Crown agency Kāinga Ora.
In his report to Waipā District Council’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee meeting this week, District Growth and Regulatory Services group manager Wayne Allan revealed council staff had been in talks with landowners, developers and Kāinga Ora around affordable housing opportunities in an area known as the T11 growth cell.
“This has resulted in one potential partnership being progressed between one Waipā developer and Kāinga Ora, and identification of council-owned land,” he said in his report.
But the council was unwilling to say too much more.
Kāinga Ora, officially Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, is a Crown agency that provides rental housing for New Zealanders in need. It has Crown entity status under the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Act 2019.
The 47ha T11 growth cell, adjoining and to the south of Pak’n Save is currently farming and cropping blocks with large mature vegetation and a limited number of residential dwellings.
It has a deferred residential zone status with a capacity for about 432 dwellings.
Environmental planners Boffa Miskell said in a report to council last year that T11 would need well-designed buildings which were compatible with the surrounding environment and would respect the privacy of neighbouring residents.
Buildings should consider the character of the area and be designed to enhance this character. The built form should also consider site circumstances and local micro-climatic conditions, such as solar access, topography, and prevailing wind. Trees and landscaping should be used for privacy and screening and to soften the built form.
While council staff downplayed T11, they did announce approval of the T2 growth cell on Frontier Road in Te Awamutu which would provide for a new retirement village, residential properties and a local reserve.
T2 adjoins the T1 growth cell, known as Frontier Estate, which is already underway with a recent approval of a further 356 lots to be undertaken in nine stages of construction.
T2 was originally approved for residential development after 2035 but following a rising housing demand, the development has been fast-tracked.
Allan said that it was a matter of creating a smooth infrastructure process to continue a sustained development over the future.
“Te Awamutu and Kihikihi is forecast to grow at a rapid rate over the next 20 years.”
Te Awamutu and Kihikihi are expected to reach an estimated 18,400 residents by 2050, an addition of 5400 people, creating demand for 3400 new houses.
Vacant residential land, affordable and social housing and recreational facilities will make up the majority of the 322 hectares of land identified for future development in Te Awamutu and Kihikihi by 2050.
Allan said council had seen a 60 per cent increase in the number of building consent applications throughout the district from the same quarter last year, up to 601 from 377.
The number of new dwellings in the district is also up 20 per cent from 104 to 130 for the quarter.
Overall, for the 2020/21 period council received 2017 building consent applications which was a record number for Waipā.