A plan for residential development on farmland bordering Rotorua is underway with consultation on the future development of new housing area, Pukehāngi Heights.
Landowners of three pockets of land either side of Parklands Estate, off Pukehāngi Rd, have indicated they are keen to develop new residential areas, Rotorua Lakes Council team lead planning for Resource Management Act policy Kate Dahm said.
As a result, the council is talking with residents in the area to discuss a proposed draft District Plan change that hopes to allow more residential development sooner, easing the city's housing shortage.
Residents got to hear the council's plan for the land at a drop-in session held at Westbrook School yesterday between 4pm and 6pm.
Dahm said the land in the Pukehāngi area was zoned as a future growth area but Rotorua was growing faster than anticipated.
She said the council wanted to make it easier for developers to move ahead with their plans more quickly to help address the district's current housing shortage.
"At the same time we want to ensure positive outcomes of development for the surrounding community so we are checking in with the community now, to provide feedback on the approach we are proposing.
"Our initial focus is on informing and getting feedback from the community and giving people the opportunity to raise any concerns and ask questions," Dahm said.
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Invitations to the drop-in session were sent to residents in and around the Pukehāngi area but any member of the public was welcome to attend.
Feedback will be taken into consideration in finalising any District Plan change, ahead of formal notification that would trigger a call for public submissions, providing an additional, more formal opportunity for community input.
Dahm said that's anticipated to happen early next year. No indication was given how quickly building could start.
Information supplied to those who attended yesterday said the area potentially could have 700 house sites and the area could be fully developed within 10 to 15 years.
Pukehāngi resident Elaine Shelton was one of more than 100 residents who attended the drop-in session.
She said she was keen to hear more because she and her husband were looking to downsize in future years.
She said they were too young for a rest home and they didn't want anything too extravagant.
Shelton lives on Edward Payton Grove, off Pukehāngi Rd.
"We like this area and we were hoping we could just jump over the road and get a smaller one.
"We want something that's say two bedrooms but still has double garaging. Sometimes people think just because you're old you can be put in a pen."