A large vacant piece of land on Russell St, Waipukurau may be turned into a retirement village if a resource consent application currently before the CHB District Council, and open to public submissions, is successful.
Ocean Developments is seeking subdivision and land use permission to develop a 13-unit lifestyle village for people of retirement age on a block of land that stretches between Russell St and River Terrace, running behind the Tukituki Motel on Herbert St.
Under the current CHB district plan, which was currently under review, the size of the sections being suggested was smaller than allowed, so the subdivision would be more dense, thus requiring the development to be publicly notified.
The development had been in the pipeline since 2015, and neighbours had been consulted regarding the plans.
Acting on behalf of Ocean Developments, registered surveyor Brian Foote from The Surveying Company Hawke's Bay said that in order to meet the demands and needs of senior citizens in the future, high density housing was required.
He noted the site was suited to this and located centrally to all the services required - and that market forces would dictate whether people chose to purchase the units that would be freehold titles incorporating common access areas and a common outdoor area.
He noted that the development would improve the aesthetic appearance of the two sites between Russell St and River Terrace, which had been "far from appealing" for the last 20 years.
"A well executed development...would have to be a 100 per cent improvement," he said.
Central Hawke's Bay mayor Alex Walker said such investment and development was important for the future of the district.
"It's important to council to work with these ideas and see how to make them happen.
"We need to be preparing for a slightly older generation in our community and they have different housing needs.
"We currently have a shortage of housing in Waipukurau - but as well as a short-term need there's also a long-term need to look at how we accommodate people in our towns."
Submissions on the proposal close on April 20, after which an independent commissioner will hear the submissions and weigh up the merits of the case, including any objections.