The potential for housing and industrial expansion on fertile soils east of Hastings will be considered as Hastings District Council creates a "master plan" to unlock the potential of the area.
The Karamū Master Plan will help guide future sustainable land use and development in the area to benefit the entire community, Hastings District Council said yesterday.
The new collaborative study, initiated by the council and in partnership with mana whenua, encompasses the traditional Karamū area.
It will consider future industrial expansion, community plans, roading and infrastructure, product distribution hubs, and potential wetland enhancements in the area.
The council said housing demand was outgrowing supply, but that must be balanced against what impact it might have on the highly valuable soils that "drive our economy".
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the plan will provide a framework to make comprehensive decisions about future infrastructure development to benefit generations to come.
"This is an exciting project that will bring benefits for the whole district," she said.
"This is about getting on the front foot to face the challenges and opportunities ahead of us and create a strong plan that protects and enhances our natural resources while unlocking the full potential our land offers.
"And it's fundamentally about our people, creating a sustainable future for our communities that incorporates and nurtures our cultural and social cohesiveness and wellbeing."
The council is seeking feedback from the public on any opportunities or issues they feel are important.
Feedback will be able to be provided by an online portal, as well as at face-to-face community and stakeholder meetings.
Consultants GHD and Boffa Miskell have been engaged to assist with the project, and $600,000 of Provincial Growth Fund funding has been approved to go towards research, a business case and resulting master plan.
Te Ara Kahikatea and the Whakatū community will also come under the strategic planning study.
The final business case and Master Plan is scheduled to be complete by the end of November this year.