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Wakatu on target for new housing developments

October 20th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

The release of land by Wakatu Inc for new housing in Motueka remains on target, with about 80 new sections expected to come on the market over the next year.

But most of the work involved in the West Motueka development by Wakatu is in planing for vital servicing infrastructure for the area, predominantly for stormwater and wastewater.

The Motueka Community Board was updated on progress around the release of Wakatu land by Iain Sheves, Wakatu General Manager Property, at the board's October meeting on Tuesday.

The West Motueka development has been in progress for several years now, with the strategy including new subdivisions catering for a variety of residential housing types, and land for industrial and commercial development.

It involves Wakatu-owned land west of State Highway 60 and between Pah Street and Courtney Street. The first large subdivision, now well on its way to completion with stage 4 under way, is off Grey Street.

Iain told the community board that demand had caused this project to be advanced by several years.

With the Puketutu subdivision beside the Motueka Cemetery now well advanced, "in 2018 there should be about 80 new sections on the market," Iain said.

Richard Horrell, the community board member who requested updated figures on Wakatu's work, stressed that "the town is now very dependent on Wakatu for new housing as there is very little else in the way of residential land under way".

Iain emphasised that much of the work of his team is focused on two issues; first, affordability and the need to offer different types of housing ranging from cheaper high-density through to homes for family accommodation; and secondly, to ensure that a unified strategy in particular for stormwater and wastewater is followed, rather than piecemeal efforts or particular land packages.

Asked by Councillor Peter Canton what the plans were for industrial development that can create more jobs, Iain said that work has already started on a giant packhouse on the corner of Green Lane and Queen Victoria Street, which will be the largest building in the Tasman District and will lead to considerable employment in the local horticultural industry.

With resource consent obtained, earthworks have started in the facility will be ready by February 2019.

For other industrial development, though, the main constraint remains working with TDC on planning for installation of services. The development of infrastructure must be built into TDC's long term plan which is coming up for renewal next year.

"It's a chicken-and-egg situation, a bit of a conundrum, in that we can't start attracting industries to commit to the area until we know when the services will be available, but we need solid information about demand by industries before Council can start creating the services," Iain said.

But in terms of residential housing development, Wakatu is working on an estimate of around 100 new sections being made available each year for some time into the future.

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