Kerikeri residents are prepared to take legal action if remedial roadworks aren't first done by the developer planning a multi-million retirement village development on their quiet street.

Aged care firm Arvida promised to widen Hall Rd and install a footpath to allay residents' concerns about traffic safety after announcing plans to build a $120 million retirement village on 18ha of land at the end of the narrow dead-end road.

The village would house about 340 people in 200 villas and apartments plus another 80 in a care facility.

But time is ticking for residents because, while the Far North's biggest retirement village is expected to be built over a seven-to-10-year period, construction of the first 28 units is due to start in summer.


Hall Rd resident David Clendon said it was a bottom line for residents that the road had to be improved before earthworks or construction began.

"We want to make sure the road is safe and secure and provisions for traffic, noise and potential for property damage are met," the former Green MP said.

"If the decision comes back that the project can progress before the roadworks are done then residents will be making objections heard very loudly. We'll be looking at every available option.

"Our primary concern that everyone shares, is safety in the street. People in the street are determined to protect themselves."

The street is 5m wide with open drains and no footpaths or verges. Clendon said the large number of trucks expected during construction would put pedestrians, especially children and the elderly, in danger.

Once work starts there would be "hundreds of vehicles in and out of the site bringing in aggregate", he said.

"The only way to ensure residents' safety is to make sure the work is done before the trucks start rolling up."

Though the Far North District Council doesn't require companies to pay development contributions to offset the costs of new infrastructure, it last month struck a deal with Arvida, which agreed to pay for Hall Rd to be upgraded and widened to 6.5m.


The company also promised to put in a footpath and street lighting, safety improvements at the Hall Rd/Kerikeri Rd intersection, and help pay for ''public good'' projects around town such as footpaths or public toilets.

Arvida has so far lodged a resource consent application for stage one earthworks.

The council has received 23 objections, and all but one submitter has opted to attend a hearing by an independent commissioner which will take place in October.

Clendon said with the requirement for council to install a water main and sewage system connection, there was no need for construction to be rushed into.

"We don't accept there's any need for urgency; obviously Arvida's commercial interest would encourage things be done sooner rather than later but the council's primary concern should be the safety of residents."

Arvida's general manager development Jonathan Ash and development manager Andre Lipa at the company's site fora new retirement village off the end of Hall Rd in Kerikeri.
Arvida's general manager development Jonathan Ash and development manager Andre Lipa at the company's site fora new retirement village off the end of Hall Rd in Kerikeri.

Arvida Group chief executive Bill McDonald said the company could not provide further details on the timing of the development due to its stage one application awaiting council decision.

"We will be able to provide more detail on timing once we have further information from council."

Council district services general manager Dr Dean Myburgh said council is working hard to negotiate a development agreement with Arvida Group that will benefit all Kerikeri residents.

As Hall Rd is widened, council will undertake upgrades to other infrastructure networks, such as water and stormwater, he said.

This would happen once enabling earthworks were completed on the Arvida site.

"This timing will avoid damaging the new road and associated infrastructure. The exception will be construction of a footpath. The intention is to complete this ahead of the enabling earthworks."