New subdivisions and developments are on the horizon for Te Awamutu, after a decision to bring forward new residential zones for the growing town.
Waipā District Council has approved the T2 growth cell on Frontier Rd, which will provide for a new retirement village, residential properties and a 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 in nine stages of construction.
The T2 growth cell on Frontier Rd was originally proposed for residential development after 2035 but has been greenlit earlier because of rising housing demand.
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," he said.
"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."
The 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 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 most of the 322 hectares identified for future development in Te Awamutu and Kihikihi by 2050.
Allan said the 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, the 2017 applications received in 2020/21 period is a record number for the district.
T2 will provide 41ha for residential development in two stages, 18ha can be developed immediately, with 22ha unlocked after 2035 or earlier if demand arises.
Growth cell T9, off Cambridge Rd near Thorncombe Rd, will offer a further 9ha 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 residential growth in the T8 growth cell off Golf and Park Rds. A third of the 46ha is now being developed at the end of Swarbrick Drive.
After the T2 zoning change to residential, the council will begin to install a water supply, and the developers will provide wastewater and stormwater networks, for the new development, so they can release sections onto the market.
Waipā district's rapid growth and the ready availability of 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 the council approached growth strategically 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."