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Council Policy Drives Away Investment

Hamilton City Councillor Angela O’Leary says Council has turned its back on future investment.

At the Growth & Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, Managing Director of NAI Harcourts Hamilton Mike Neale, also a board member of Hamilton Central Business Association (HCBA) said in the last 6 months there have been no sales of land for future residential development in the CBD, he sees this as a significant change.

During the 2018 budget decisions Council removed a remission that encouraged residential and commercial developments to happen in the CBD.

O’Leary a vocal opponent of the changes to the policy saw this coming.

“I took no comfort during the meeting hearing that my concerns have come home to roost” she said.

“In 2013 we worked with the development community and took a strategic view of how we could entice developers to turn their vision and their investment to our CBD, and it was working”.

“In the first 4 years of that strategy, building consents increased from $19m to $44m, a $25m benefit”.

“Council has turned its back on an estimated $6.2m a year worth of development benefit to our central city in place of saving $1.2m annually - the math just doesn’t add up” she said.

Vanessa Williams, General Manager of HCBA reported to the committee that feedback from investors indicated that the removal of the remission appears to be a significant risk to the ongoing revitalisation of the CBD.

“The idea that growth pays for growth is short-sighted and doesn’t work in the real world, the consequences will be hard and sharp” O’Leary said.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s only a matter of time before other changes to the policy under the pretence that growth pays for growth will come home to roost” she said.

© Scoop Media

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