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More options for seasonal worker accommodation proposed

A change to the Hastings District Plan is being proposed to provide for the accommodation needs of seasonal workers in the face of a projected escalation of horticulture activity in the district.

Regional seasonal employers have told the Hastings District Council that with the expected increase in horticultural production, the current seasonal worker numbers could double by 2022.

This signals the need for significant investment in accommodation to provide for these workers, at the same time relieving pressure on the overall rental housing stock needed by the whole community.

Titled “Variation 7 – Seasonal Workers Accommodation”, the proposed change would allow for seasonal worker accommodation to be built in the light industrial and general industrial zones at Omahu and Irongate.

These buildings would require a certain level of outdoor open space per resident around them for undertaking recreation activities, comply with noise limits and the buildings would be relocatable to enable industrial use of the site once the accommodation facilities were no longer required.

The variation would also allow for a restricted level of seasonal workers accommodation within the plains production zone.

Limits around this would ensure minimal encroachment on quality growing soils coupled with the requirement that the buildings are relocatable.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said this was another positive outcome from the council’s long-term planning aimed at alleviating the housing pressure in the Hastings district.

“Council has done a lot of work to try and balance the accommodation needs of the primary production industry, which is such an important driver of our economy, and the general housing needs of our people.

“This is one initial solution that aids both, with the expectation that the purpose-built RSE accommodation will relieve some of the pressure on the rental housing market.

“It is great to also see so many industry leaders who are already investing in accommodation.”

The proposed variation has been publicly notified and people have until 5pm on Friday, September 27 to submit – go to www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz for more information.

© Scoop Media

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