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Public asked to have say on growth areas for Horowhenua

Public asked to have their say on growth areas for Horowhenua

Council opens consultation today on the draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040.

The consultation will seek public feedback on the strategy as well as parcels of land Council has identified as potential growth areas to provide enough land for housing and industry as Horowhenua’s population grows.

Mayor Michael Feyen said the draft Growth Strategy looks out to 2040 and it will guide decisions about where and how to accommodate growth while maintaining our unique character and protecting our environment.

“Current assumptions are that the population of Horowhenua is expected to grow by just under a third by 2040 – to accommodate that we are likely to need about 244 new homes built every year – so we need more land set aside for residential growth,” he said.

“We expect the greatest growth will occur in Levin, and we need to ensure our existing and future infrastructure is better equipped to accommodate it. However, we will need quality infrastructure in all parts of the district where growth is expected.”

The draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 doesn’t include the proposed Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway, and Mayor Feyen acknowledges this is unhelpful and frustrating.

“The expressway will be incorporated into our planning once NZ Transport Agency has made its decision. Growth is already happening in the Horowhenua and it is therefore vital to involve tangata whenua and the community from the outset.”

Council Growth Response Manager Daniel Haigh said Council officers started preparing for growth by talking with members of the local property and development community to understand where there were gaps in the market.

“We then looked at land available for development. We took the growth figures and worked out how many homes would be needed in each town to fulfil the expected demand and the amount of land needed to accommodate them.

“Following that we identified appropriate areas and started talking to landowners one-on-one to discover their aspirations and accommodate them where we can,” Mr Haigh said.

Other technical work is being carried out, including hazard assessment of liquefaction and flood risks in proposed development locations.

The draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 affects Foxton, Foxton Beach, Tokomaru, Levin, Waitārere Beach, Waikawa Beach, Ōhau and Manakau. No changes are proposed for Shannon, Hōkio Beach and Mangaore, which have enough residentially-zoned land to accommodate growth.

“With regards to industrial land, the plan is to re-zone just over 40 hectares of land in south-east Levin adjacent to current industrial land. No other changes are proposed, as we believe there is enough existing industrial land that is already zoned,” Mr Haigh said.

Council needs to hear back from the community about the draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 and the proposed growth areas.

“We need to hear your thoughts on what areas would be best for new residential areas,” he said.

A short online video has been created to help people understand the proposal and how it might affect their community.

Feedback from the consultation will inform the Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, which will be presented to Council’s Elected Members to be adopted. While the Growth Strategy won’t change the zoning of the land identified for growth, it will set the direction for zoning changes to be implemented through the District Plan.

Mr Haigh said if the strategy is adopted then work will begin on a public District Plan change process to alter the current zoning (e.g. Rural) to zoning that would allow greater levels of development (e.g. Residential, Greenbelt Residential or Industrial). This would be unlikely to start until mid-year and could take a year to 18 months to be completed.

Engagement period

The draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 is out for public consultation, along with the 2018-2038 Long Term Plan.

The Consultation period begins on Friday 23 February 2018.

Council Officers will have maps showing the proposed growth areas, and these will be available at planned public engagement activities, including:

• Saturday, February 24 at Let’s Move Together, Levin Aquatic Centre

• Saturday, March 3 at Shannon BBQ, Te Maire Park

• Saturday, March 10 at Foxton Beach Summer Market, Holben Pavilion

• Saturday, March 17 at Ōhau Market, Ōhau Hall

A drop in session will be held between 3pm and 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 20 at Horowhenua District Council, Levin Please visit the Have Your Say page on Council’s website to view maps of Horowhenua’s towns and settlements where growth areas are proposed.

Feedback closes on Monday 26 March 2018.

ENDS

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