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Ō2NL route decision welcomed

Uncertainty has ended for residents and landowners after the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) confirmed its preferred route for the final stage of the Wellington northern corridor.

Mayor of Horowhenua Michael Feyen said it had been a long and difficult process for all concerned, but the end was near.

“Those affected can now plan their future, and no doubt for those whose properties aren’t in the way there will be a well-deserved sigh of relief.

“I am heartened that NZTA officials delivered the letters in person to the 253 affected landowners, and that they’ve made provision for support services to help landowners through this process.”

Mayor Feyen said the announcement led the way to a lot of work.

“It’ll be two to three years before we are through the resource consent stage. In the meantime, there are important physical safety works that will be carried out on SH1 south of Levin. It is a killer of a highway and the work that is planned will help make us all feel and be safer.”

Horowhenua District Council Growth Response Manager Daniel Haigh said naming the preferred route gave landowners and Council confidence and ended the uncertainty.

“The preferred route allows us to finalise the Gladstone Green Master Plan – a 2000-home community on the east of Levin,” said Mr Haigh.

“Next year, Council will discuss with NZTA the preferred location of interchanges to access Levin and SH57. We’ll also need to discuss how the expressway will reconnect back to the current SH1 on the northern outskirts of Levin.

“We are also about to start a conversation with residents in Manakau and Ōhau to better understand their aspirations as we create a community plan for their settlements.”

Mr Haigh said next year Council would also review its growth predictions.

“Current estimates are that we’ll need a minimum of 244 homes to be built every year for the next 20 years. However, the district has grown at a faster rate than predicted for two years in a row and 2018 is tracking even further ahead. We need to review the predictions so we are not caught out by increased growth,” said Mr Haigh.

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