Resource consent for an upmarket central Rotorua housing development has finally been granted but those behind the project say they will review what's happening with the land early next year.
The Ashworth Villas development on the corner of Ranolf St and Malfroy Rd officially stalled this time last year after issues getting resource consent.
Buyers on the books were refunded their deposits and let out of their contracts as a result of unexpected delays relating to capacity issues with the council stormwater network.
Ashworth Villas is to be a modern 50-home gated development.
The developers, long-standing family-owned business Holmes Group, have now confirmed there has been progress.
Managing director Ryan Holmes told the Rotorua Daily Post they had been given subdivision consent from the Rotorua Lakes Council and earthworks consent has been received from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Holmes said in December last year the company had submitted the consent application three times and had spent about $750,000 in the process, leaving the company feeling "disappointed" and "frustrated".
At the time, the Rotorua Daily Post asked the council to explain why the development had been unable to get resource consent, what the stormwater issues were, why the process had taken so long and if the delays were reasonable.
It was also asked why the stormwater capacity was taken away from the site and how disappointing the delays were given the housing crisis and the need to increase available homes.
In a written statement, planning and development manager Jason Ward did not answer the specific questions but said the council had been working with the Holmes Group since before its application was lodged on August 22, 2018.
He said at the time the council was "very motivated to see more housing in Rotorua and endeavours to work collaboratively with developers to ensure a smooth and timely process as possible".
Ward's statement said the council was responsible for ensuring developments met legislated requirements and adequately addressed known risks and potential adverse impacts to safeguard the public and protect the environment.
The Holmes Group bought the 20,000sq m site in April 2018. It was formerly owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had been vacant since 1988.
Home and land packages officially went on sale in September 2018 and it was to be a mix of two and three-bedroom villas designed for those aged 50-plus who were looking to downsize from large family homes.
Meanwhile, Holmes said Holmes Group had been busy starting the fit-out of another big project, the 1542sq m Hunting & Fishing megastore at another of their developments at Lynmore Junction.
"We will be reviewing the Ranolf land early next year," he said.
Pukeroa Oruawhata Group general manager Peter Faulkner confirmed Hunting & Fishing was leaving its current Trade Central site in August to September next year.
"We are currently talking to multiple properties at the moment about taking over the lease of that site," Faulkner said.