A government decision to decline Perry Group’s Special Housing Area application has recommended the proposed billion-dollar Te Awa Lakes integrated mixed-use development be processed via a private plan change.
That will delay Perry Group’s hopes to deliver a residential development containing at least 10 percent affordable housing, said chief executive Richard Coventry.
“We started following a private plan change with Hamilton City Council but were encouraged to take part in the Special Housing Area process instead, so we did. Now we have been sent back to the council’s process,” he said.
“At every stage we have had great support from HCC and also from the public, and by the government’s own analysis Hamilton city is short 2500 homes,” said Coventry.
“Te Awa Lakes can deliver 1500 new homes to the region including integrated mixed-use typologies needed for affordable homes, at no cost to the government or council. This decision puts these affordable homes at the most risk.”
Perry Group is now assessing its options, which include using the existing industrial zoning to create an industrial park at the northern entrance to the city along 1.5 kilometres of riverfront property, or continuing with a private plan change through Hamilton City Council’s own process.
“We see this site as so important to not only the residential growth of Hamilton, but to the creation of an economic corridor connecting the north of the city with the greater Waikato providing significant and positive community and commercial benefits for the region” said Coventry.
“We want the opportunity to help make the Waikato a better place to live by creating a vibrant, master planned community hub which highlights the Waikato River and its power to positively connect our community. It would be a real shame to once again turn our back on our awa.”
The issue isn’t one of requiring government funds, the 62ha site is owned by the Perry Group. It is ready to begin development immediately having earmarked funds for this project over the next five years.
“All we need is approval to spend our own money building infrastructure and housing that this city and region needs,” said Perry Group chairman Simon Perry.
“We still hope it will be possible to bring the key objectors together and to avoid the RMA process wasting unnecessary time and money which could impact our ability to deliver our vision for a mixed-use community.”