Mayor orders early planning as population soars

09 May 2017

Waipa will have to build a further 13,200 homes to cope with the number of people expected to move into the district over the next 30 years.

Growth predictions showed 75,000 people in total will live in Waipa by 2050. About 46,000 people live in the district at the moment. Cambridge was expected to absorb most of the predicted population growth, with an extra 14,000 people expected to move into town by 2050.

Waipa District Council's mayor Jim Mylchreest wants to see new land unlocked for residential development. It meant a further 582 hectares was needed to provide room for new homes. In total, 13,200 new homes were needed across the district.

Keeping the character of Cambridge is important as Waipa District Council plans for population growth. The growth strategy takes into account infrastructural requirements, including water, waste, roading, recreation and tourism. New residential areas could include open space and shared paths along the swale.

Waipa District Council's mayor Jim Mylchreest has made preparing and planning for population growth a priority for staff and he wants to see new land unlocked for residential development. The council's 2009 growth strategy was already under review.

Deputy chief executive David Hall agreed the council needed to plan for population growth early.

"Before we develop land, build houses and create roads, we need to know where everything will go so developers have a comprehensive blueprint to follow."

Planning is underway for a residential development in the northwest of Cambridge. By 2035, council wanted enough land for 5700 more houses, including the 1044 houses already tagged in Cambridge North.

One of two new neighbourhood shopping centres was proposed for Norfolk Dr, opposite Victoria St, with three or four retail stores, supermarket and community space. A larger complex was proposed with enough space for up to 14 stores, supermarket and community space, near Hamilton Rd.

Council planned to retain Cambridge's unique town character throughout the new developments.

"We are proposing continuing large green street frontages and tree-lined streets and would like to continue the existing street grid pattern," said Hall. Playing fields, walking and cycling links, playgrounds and informal play spaces were also provided in the draft strategy.

A further 36ha would be rezoned at Hautapu for industrial use. There were also plans to provide for more development around Hamilton Airport.

Growth is not limited to Cambridge. The population for Te Awamutu and Kihikihi was expected to increase by 5400 people. A further 286ha of residential land was needed to build 3436 new homes, and 36ha for industrial and commercial developments.

Smaller Waipa settlements also needed attention heading towards 2050.

Using the methodology of three houses per hectare, Karapiro would require a further 85ha to accommodate the expected 400 extra residents. Most of the projected growth can be accommodated through existing zoned land with further growth proposed to the northwest of the village.

There needed to be 50ha of residential land for 170 extra houses to accommodate Ngahinapouri's projected growth of 380 residents. A small neighbourhood shopping centre was proposed and there was an expectation the primary school there may need to be expanded.

Ohaupo's population was expected to grow by 190 people, requiring 35ha of new residential land and another 90 houses on large lots. Council identified the potential to create a new housing area with access to Lake Rotomanuka.

By 2050 Pirongia would become home to nearly 2000 people following a population increase of around 480. It would require 70ha of new residential land for another 230 houses. There were also plans for new retail spaces on State Highway 39.

Pukeatua is projected to grow by 70 people, with 20ha of new residential land for another 30 houses. It's predicted more tourism infrastructure will be needed for the Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain. Both residential growth, tourism accommodation and facilities can be provided for within existing zoned land.

Other smaller areas such as Rukuhia, Te Miro and Te Pahu were also expected to see population growth.

- Stuff

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