Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Papamoa homes fast-tracked

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Bluehaven Management chief executive Bill Miller.
Bluehaven Management chief executive Bill Miller.

Papamoa will be host to more than 350 new homes as the Government fast-tracks two key developments to meet the city's ballooning population.

Tauranga City Council yesterday announced a special housing accord which will allow for about 283 new dwellings to be built in the Golden Sands area in Wairakei and about 68 in Palm Springs in Papamoa East. The new areas will avoid the lengthy paperwork process and be developed alongside the existing special housing areas already under way at Wairakei and Palm Springs.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said this housing accord was likely to be the last due to timeframe restrictions within the Special Housing Area legislation but it recognised the need for more housing in the area.

"This re-analyses the rapid growth of Wairakei and looks for further opportunity to get mixed housing there," Mr Crosby said.

"It is important to have a range of houses and it is good to see the the developers are picking up these issues of smaller homes on smaller lots."

The housing area has height restrictions of 9.5m for most of the area, with one section allowing an increase from 9.5m to 17.5m.

The developments did not need to be for low-cost housing, affordable housing or social housing to be approved as a special housing area.

Bluehaven Management chief executive Bill Miller said the approval directly affected hundreds of people such as builders in the area.

"If the special housing accord didn't help us to keep going then people couldn't get access to houses, people building houses and in construction end up sitting around waiting for these approvals. When you look at this area ... you can see the growth. It's good for the economy. In Tauranga, we've led the growth [nationally]."

Mr Miller said the accord helped Tauranga keep up with demand, "and there's a lot of demand".

The new dwellings would be serviced by both existing and new infrastructure including the extension of Te Okuroa Drive, scheduled to be completed on time, in 2018. This will provide an alternative to Papamoa Beach Rd by the time the new dwellings are due to be occupied.

Hawridge Developments director Greg Clarke said the approval was "hugely significant".

"It enables us to finish a few hundred sections so we can supply the market," Mr Clarke said. "The Auckland market is certainly spreading its wings to Hamilton, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. It's good."

The approval is expected to be finalised in the next month.

Public open day:

* Council will hold a drop-in session on Thursday, February 11, to provide further information and answer questions. Council encourages all interested parties to drop in to speak with council staff, developer representatives and elected members about the special housing area proposals.

* Where: Papamoa Sports and Recreation Centre, 80 Alice Way, Gordon Spratt Reserve

* When: Thursday, February 11, 3pm-7pm

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