A $140 million retirement village is planned to meet the needs of Whangārei's ageing population - with the number of those over 75 set to increase by a third in 10 years.
The chief executive of the company which bought land in Whangārei for a $140m retirement village, which is set to become the biggest in the district, says neighbours will be consulted at the "appropriate point" in the consenting process.
Retirement village operator Summerset has bought 11ha of land adjacent to the Whangārei Golf Club at Mount Denby for a $140m facility which will offer around 200 independent living homes - including two and three-bedroom villas and around 70 serviced apartments - as well as rest home and hospital level care, and a memory care centre for people affected by dementia.
Summerset CEO Julian Cook said building the new village - which is set to be the biggest in Whangārei when completed - will employ more than 300 people, and create up to 40 permanent jobs in the longer term.
"Summerset's $140 million investment in the new village is an investment in Whangārei, its people and its economy," he said.
Cook said the company was still at the conceptual design stage and therefore it had not lodged a resource consent application with the Whangārei District Council. However, one would be lodged this year.
"Any notification would be at the discretion of council, but irrespective we will certainly consult with neighbours at the appropriate point in the consenting process," he said.
Helen Powell, who has lived in the area near the site for about four years, said she had heard a retirement village was being built and had no worries about it.
Summerset has 26 villages completed or in development across the country, and 12 sites for development. This will be the first Summerset village in Northland.
Cook said the company had been looking for land in Whangārei for "some time".
"The number of people over 75 in the Whangārei District is forecast to increase by 34 per cent in the next decade," he said.
"Demand for retirement living is predicted to outstrip supply, and we believe Summerset can provide quality living and care in a vibrant retirement community for locals," he said.
Cook said the new village will also introduce Summerset's memory care apartments to Northland which offer people living with dementia a high-quality one-bedroom apartment in a secure environment, purpose built to meet their specific needs.
"Given the number of people affected by dementia is expected to triple by 2050, we are preparing for increasing demand for a secure facility with specialist care and facilities," he said.
The location of the village is walking distance to the Paramount Plaza where there is a supermarket, medical centre, a pharmacy and many other stores.
"We know people from the district will be very interested in the high-quality homes and recreational amenities Summerset offers in our retirement villages including a bowling green, pool and spa, café, and hobbies room," Cook said.
The construction will start once the company has resource consents from the council, and the village will be completed in stages with independent living units being built first.
Cook said there was no definite completion date yet but once finished, up to 400 people will be able to reside at the village.
Meanwhile, the aged-care sector is also booming in Kerikeri.
Kerikeri Retirement Village is currently building the town's first two-storey apartment blocks and last year announced long-term plans to buy as many as 42 neighbouring properties, build another 200 units and expand the number of beds in its care facility from 66 to 100.
Quail Ridge, off Rainbow Falls Rd, is growing rapidly, and Auckland-based Arvida Group just last month lodged a resource consent application for the first stage of a retirement complex off Hall Rd with 200 villas and 60 to 80 care beds.
Also last month Metlifecare bought the Kerikeri RSA land and buildings with the intention of expanding the neighbouring Oakridge Villas.