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Changes proposed for Carter’s Flat

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Waipā District Council is moving ahead with proposals to rezone the Carter’s Flat commercial and industrial area in Cambridge.

Public submissions will open soon on a formal Plan Change to change zoning from industrial to commercial. Only a minor change is needed to the District Plan to support the zone change, which is already identified as ’deferred commercial’.

Manager district plan and growth Tony Quickfall says current zoning had been in place since 2012. The proposed change would help implement the Cambridge Town Concept Plan and realise the expectations of key stakeholders and landowners, including the Cambridge Community Board and Chamber of Commerce.

“There was always an intention to rezone Carter’s Flat at some stage and two key triggers for the change have now been well and truly met. The Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway, which is important in terms of traffic flow, is now well entrenched for road users,” Quickfall says.

“And there is more industrial land coming on stream in Cambridge, particularly at Hautapu and at Hamilton Airport which means there is somewhere for industrial activity to go. A zone change will enable Carter’s Flat to realise its potential as a commercial mixed-use zone, particularly for larger-scale commercial activities that will add value to the town and complement the existing town centre.”

The zone change would also allow apartments to be built above commercial premises in Carter’s Flat, supporting council’s drive to increase the supply and range of housing options in Cambridge. Within walking distance to town and close to Lake Te Koo Utu and the Karapiro Stream, Quickfall says the location would be attractive.

“People have told us they want to see a more vibrant, mixed-use area close to town, that doesn’t compete with existing retail outlets and protects the integrity of the town centre. It makes the whole area a lot more compatible with the formal Cambridge Town Concept Plan, refreshed in 2019.”

As part of the plan change, council is increasing its definition of large format retail to units over 400m2.  Under the plan change, retail stores of this size or larger will be allowed in Carter’s Flat.

A Local Area Plan for Carter’s Flat has separately been developed alongside the proposed rezoning, setting out design parameters. This sets out the vision for Carter’s Flat and includes design guides to complement planning rules. Public feedback will be invited on the Local Area Plan at the same time as council calls for formal submissions on the rezoning.

Carter’s Flat was unofficially named after William Kennedy ‘King’ Carter who operated a coach service and built his house and stables there in the late 1870s.  By the early 1900s, the land was farmed before changing to industrial development. Carter’s Flat and the surrounding area also includes a number of culturally significant sites with multiple pa sites and borrow pits in the area.

The Plan Change will follow a statutory public submission and decision process. Submissions will be open from August 25.

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