Horowhenua has grown faster than predicted for more than three years.
If it continues in a similar vein, we will need at least 244 new homes every year for the next 20 years.
To accommodate that growth, Council has identified growth areas through its Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 – you can read the strategy on our Horowhenua Growth Strategy page.
In order for the growth areas to be developed for residential purposes Council must rezone the land first to enable this type of development. Council is looking to undertake a series of plan changes in the coming years to amend the District Plan and rezone some of the growth areas. A plan change is a public process and affected landowners as well as other interested parties will have the opportunity to provide their input during this process.
Before some of the growth areas are rezoned for housing and retail developments, Council is creating Master Plans. These aim to ensure new developments are planned and integrated into existing towns and settlements rather than a series of small subdivisions that lack important connections to each other or to existing infrastructure.
During the master planning process, Council officers and independent experts will engage with landowners, iwi and hapū and affected government agencies eg. Ministry of Education and New Zealand Transport Agency.
Council will then seek feedback from the general public about the Master Plans before they are presented to elected members for consideration and adoption by Council.
The completed Master Plans will inform changes to Council’s District Plan. The proposed District Plan changes will each be presented to Councillors for adoption which, if adopted by Council, will start a formal public engagement and notification process.
Once feedback from the consultation process is taken on board, and hearings held, the final proposed District Plan Change is presented to councillors to approve the plan change becoming operative.
During this process, Council officers and specialised technical experts consult with landowners, iwi and hapū in the area and central government agencies.
They carry out a complex analysis of population, economy, housing, transport, community facilities and land use. They also consider non-physical aspects such as funding, scheduling and phasing so the costs can be shared fairly between the developers involved in the process.
Master Plans include design principles and a spatial plan that defines future land-use patterns, areas of open space, the layout and nature of infrastructure including transportation links and community facilities such as parks, schools, and other key features. This is to ensure that development is both integrated and co-ordinated. It goes to a more detailed level than the Structure Plans that Council currently uses to guide future development.
The aim is to get the optimal possible results for the community, using best practice urban design principles and making sure connections within the development – and between the development and the surrounding existing community – work well.
The proposal is to re-zone 400 hectares of land to the east of Levin so it can be redeveloped into a community of approximately 2,500 homes.
The land is owned by several parties and Council hopes the Master Plan will make sure the area is developed in an integrated and co-ordinated way, as opposed to multiple subdivisions by the individual owners.
The plan is still in draft form. Council is working with landowners, iwi and hapū, the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Transport Agency to create the Master Plan.
Council intends to bring the Master Plan to the community for consideration towards the end of 2019 and for the Draft District Plan Change to be notified in 2020.
But what about O2NL?
NZTA has delayed the completion of the last stage of the Wellington Northern Motorway – the Ōtaki to North of Levin section.
While NZTA has signalled a preferred corridor for the route of Ō2NL in December 2018 it has more recently confirmed in August 2019 that it does not have funding to progress any work on the project.
The delay is both unfortunate and short-sighted, as growth in Horowhenua and our neighbouring districts and cities continues to increase traffic volumes.
Therefore, Council is proceeding with the Master Plan because the alternative would be multiple small subdivisions leading to isolated pockets of communities with little or no access to amenities and facilities, or increasing pressure on the local housing market through a limited supply of new houses.
Foxton Beach is a popular beach settlement in Horowhenua with access to one of the best west coast beaches in New Zealand.
Council’s Horowhenua Growth Strategy predicts the settlement will require an additional 542 residential and 47 more greenbelt residential properties in the next 20 years to accommodate growth.
To provide for the demand and to ensure Foxton Beach remains an integrated and well-connected community, Council has begun the process of creating a Master Plan.
The plan is focused on a small series of Lakes within the growth area and the pastoral and forestry land adjacent to them – including 30 hectares which is currently owned by Council. The land within this growth area has several zones currently including Standard Residential, Low Density Residential, Greenbelt Residential and Rural.
In 2018, Council started talking with landowners, iwi and the Foxton Community Board about how this growth area could be developed in the future. Given the potential liquefaction risks at Foxton Beach specific on site testing is being undertaken to understand how the master Plan site may be impacted.
Council intends to bring the Master Plan and associated District Plan to the community for engagement in 2020.
Waitārere is a popular beach settlement that provides residents and holidaymakers with an attractive lifestyle. The Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 predicts an additional 165 residential homes and 157 greenbelt residential homes will be required between now and 2040.
The future growth area at Waitārere Beach includes a number of properties in different ownership. Some of the challenges for development are topography (dunes), archaeology (evidence of human activity from before 1900) and connectivity (new housing areas and existing streets and parks). Therefore, to provide a guide for future growth and take a proactive approach to addressing these challenges a Master Plan is being created.
The Master Plan area is located to the east of the existing residential areas - to the east and west of Forest Road, as well as an area to the north of Waitārere Beach Road by the dune lake.
Council will be launching the draft Master Plan on 18 January 2020 – come down to the Waitārere Domain anytime between 11am and 3pm to have your say. Not able to attend the event? The documents will be available online from 18 January 2020 and feedback will be welcomed until 14 February 2020.
The development of the Master Plan is occurring alongside the preparation of the Waitārere Community Plan. Both will be instrumental in the community’s development and successful growth.