Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Next urban growth areas get green light

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Recommended Smart Growth areas have been identified. Photo/File.
Recommended Smart Growth areas have been identified. Photo/File.

Western Bay city leaders have endorsed four recommended urban growth areas in the region to boost inner city living and provide a steady supply of urban communities over the next 5-10 years.

The four areas targeted for residential and business land development are Tauranga Compact City, Te Tumu, Keenan Rd and Tauriko West.

Members of the Smart Growth Implementation Committee today endorsed their support for the urban growth development plans to go forward for ratification by the region's three councils.

The development projects would enable the region to respond to the region's projected population growth, and met its obligations under the Government's new proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity.

The committee's decisions were needed to ensure the Western Bay of Plenty region was in a strong position to support a business case to the NZ Transport Agency board for
requesting a package of investments to support the planned Tauriko West urban area.

At the start of the meeting, two Western Bay land owners urged committee members to back their proposal to fast-track development plans for Keenan Rd.

Andrew Dunstan said developing Tauriko West and Keenan Rd should not be seen as "mutually exclusive".

Neil Cavell, a former Western Bay councillor, said it made sense to develop Keenan Rd at the same time because between 2018 and 2021 there was no other land close to the city being developed.

"What we are talking about is between 750 to 800 high end valued sections... and almost getting up to 40 per cent of the potential growth area being developed," he said.

Mr Cavell said the proposal had many advantages.

"That including easy access, a small number of key landowners to negotiate with, and it would not need an initial huge cash investment to advance the plans, he said.

"We are also only talking about developing a 400-metre long stretch of road to open up the whole area... ultimately it could be linked up with Takitumu Drive, so it would not be a road to nowhere."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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