A $3 million sports pavilion at a retirement village was the largest building project consented in Tauranga last month.

The pavilion was one of 186 building consents issued in the city in February worth a total $48.9m, according to Priority One's latest monthly building consents report.

This was a 32 per cent drop in the dollar value of consents issued in January, which reached $71.7m, but a 10 per cent rise in the total number issued.

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The Western Bay of Plenty District Council saw an increase in its value of consents issued - more than $27.5m issued in the month of February compared with $14.1m the month before.

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said despite the fall in the value of consents issued in Tauranga, there was an increase in volume.

"Building consents can fluctuate considerably month to month, so a more accurate picture of longer-term trends will emerge over the next few months," Hill said.

She said the Western Bay had "picked up considerably" after setting a record two-year low for the value of consents issued in January. February saw nearly twice the value in consents.

Tauranga's largest building consent issued in February was a $3m sports pavilion at Ocean Shores in Mount Maunganui.

Arena Living chief executive Richard Davis said the new sports centre would see increased capacity on the bowling greens with one additional lane.

"There will also be a covered patio and barbecue area, drinking fountains, and indoors a kitchen, lounge and bar. Ramps have been added to the bowling green for easy access," he said.

Construction would start this month and he expected it would be completed in July.


''Our goal is always to enable our residents to relax and enjoy their lives, while we take care of the rest. Our point of difference is our focus on providing quality lifestyle options – investing in this sports stadium demonstrates our commitment to this".

At present 300 residents lived at Ocean Shores, he said.

In February 44 consents were issued for residential new builds in Katikati, Omokoroa and Te Puke valued at $20.7m, which set a new two-year record.

Hill said there had been good growth in the value of Western Bay consents.

Over the past two years, residential new builds and the expansion of the kiwifruit industry and supporting activities had contributed to a lift in figures, she said.

Katikati's latest subdivision, Sophia Rose Estate, was expected to pump millions into the local economy.

Sophia Rose Estate Properties director Anton Mitchell said the development on Tetley Rd was a boutique subdivision that would have 25 high-spec houses on 700sq m sections. The first home in the subdivision is now under construction.

He said the high-quality architecturally designed homes were targeted at the higher end of the market and were in the $700,000-plus price bracket.

The project was two-and-a-half years in the making and followed on from the company's first venture, Alexandra Estate, a smaller subdivision of 14 houses on the same road.

Mr Mitchell said concepts associated with Alexandra Estate would be replicated. The company also tried to use local contractors that had benefited the community, he said.

"We spent about $6m building the houses and $2.5m developing it. People have also moved to Katikati from places like Auckland and Rotorua and they spend their money here so that is really good.

"And we will probably spend $20m on Sophia Rose Estate."

Western Bay councillor David Marshall said it was great to have a diverse community and the subdivision was wonderful for Katikati. But the small amount of land left in the town to be developed was a concern, he said.

"Some would ask, do we want it to grow huge or keep it as more of the small-town feel? So some of that needs to be discussed when we next view people's aspirations."

Affordable housing for the elderly and low-income earners was another issue, he said.

"Where we are getting squeezed is in the one- to two-bedroom houses and that is becoming quite a challenge. There is the special housing areas in Omokoroa and more places like that are needed."

Council planning and regulatory services policy group manager Rachael Davie said continued growth in the Western Bay meant more people would be using existing roads, wastewater systems, water supply, parks, reserves and community facilities.

"It means more customers for council and demand for new infrastructure. Council needs to be proactive in planning for growth so that costs can be managed."

The Western Bay was a popular destination due to its rural or semi-rural feel, mild climate, easy access to rivers, coast and mountains, great people and opportunities, she said.

Omokoroa was also experiencing big growth.

Data revealed seven new dwellings consented in February were valued at more than $900,000, with one multi-dwelling project valued at $1.6m.