New subdivisions and developments for Te Awamutu are on the horizon, following a decision to bring forward new residential zones for the growing town.
Waipā District Council has approved the T2 growth cell located on Frontier Rd, which will provide for a new retirement village, residential properties and a local reserve. T2 adjoins the T1 growth cell, known as Frontier Estate, which is already under way with a recent approval of a further 356 lots to be undertaken in nine stages of construction.
The T2 growth cell on Frontier Rd was originally proposed to be approved for residential development after 2035 but following a rising housing demand, the development has been greenlit to go ahead earlier.
Council's group manager district growth and regulatory, Wayne Allan, said good planning for the district's forecasted growth meant infrastructure could be installed at the optimal time to assist with council budgeting and developer aspirations.
"Te Awamutu and Kihikihi is forecast to grow at a rapid rate over the next 20 years.
"It's a delicate balancing act to put the infrastructure in at the right time so it's utilised and affordable and not delay our developer's aspirations so we keep in frequent contact with them to understand their aspirations along with our own growth needs, to allow this to happen.
"The Waipā 2050 growth strategy identifies areas for future growth in the district but as we are increasingly becoming a more desirable place for people to move to and set up business, our growth projections are higher than previously thought."
Waipā District Council adopted 'high' population projection estimates from the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) at the end of June, based on current growth in the district.
"It was apparent that our district is facing more population growth than our previous medium projections so we adopted the high NIDEA estimates in June to ensure we continue to plan ahead with the best information available."
Te Awamutu and Kihikihi are expected to reach an estimated 18,400 residents by 2050, an addition of 5400 people, creating demand for 3400 new houses.
Vacant residential land, affordable and social housing and recreational facilities will make up the majority of the 322 hectares of land identified for future development in Te Awamutu and Kihikihi by 2050.
Allan said council had seen a 60 per cent increase in the number of building consent applications throughout the district from the same quarter last year, up to 601 from 377. The number of new dwellings in the district is also up 20 per cent from 104 to 130 for the quarter. Overall, for the 2020/21 period we received 2017 building consent applications which is a record number for Waipā District.
T2 will provide 41 hectares of land for residential development in two stages, 18 hectares is able to be developed immediately, with 22 hectares unlocked after 2035 or earlier if demand arises.
Growth cell T9, located off Cambridge Rd near Thorncombe Rd, will offer a further nine hectares of residential land. Stages 2 and 3 are under way and a new roundabout which is in the design phase, will help unlock further stages of development.
A structure plan has been completed for a residential growth in the T8 growth cell located off Golf and Park roads. A third of the 46ha is now being developed at the end of Swarbrick Drive.
Following the T2 zoning change to residential, council will begin to install a new water supply, while the developers will provide wastewater and stormwater networks for the new development so they can release vacant sections onto the market.
Waipā district's rapid growth and the ready availability of vacant land is forecast to attract those from surrounding regions to make the move to Waipā, including a growing number of prospective home buyers from the Auckland region.
Allan said council approached growth in a strategic way to optimise the infrastructure investment.
"Council has earmarked new growth areas in key locations in each town to ensure we are being strategic in the way we grow our towns so our residents have a range of housing and economic opportunities.
"Our vision is to build connected communities, which means our residents have a range of housing options, great community facilities and services, sustainable transport corridors that encourage walking and cycling, and strong economic opportunities. All of these aspects contribute to Waipā being a great place to live, work and play."