Waipa growth prompts strategy review

Waipa growth prompts strategy review
The Waipa district is expected to increase in population by 25,000 over the next thirty years.

Massive growth projected for the Waipa district has prompted a formal review of the district’s growth strategy. A further 25,000 people are expected to live in the district by 2050, bringing Waipa’s population to nearly 75,000.
The increase will mean a further 14,000 people for Cambridge, 5,400 in Te Awamutu and Kihikihi and more than 6,000 additional residents spread around the rest of the district.
Waipa District Council deputy chief executive David Hall said the district’s growth strategy was adopted in 2009. But rapid growth meant a review was needed.
“We’re estimating a further 13,200 homes will be needed in Waipa by 2050 to house new residents and we need to be planning for that well and planning for it early,” Hall said.
“Before we develop land, build houses and create roads we need to know clearly where everything will go so developers have a comprehensive blueprint to follow.”
To help plan, the council identifies likely growth areas called growth cells. Detailed planning then begins for those growth cells to accommodate roads, what type of development will be included, what parks and green spaces are needed and where services like shops, water and wastewater will go.
Next month the council will begin formal consultation on the draft Waipa 2050 District Growth Strategy. The strategy outlines what growth is projected for the district and details how Council proposes managing it.
The draft strategy contains details on two new plans  in northwest Cambridge bordering the town belt. The plans allow for more than 3,500 new houses as well as two new neighbourhood shopping centres.
In Te Awamutu, eight residential growth cells and two industrial growth cells are signalled for development before 2035.
The draft growth strategy details likely growth and development scenarios for Hamilton Airport as well as Ohaupo, Ngahinapouri, Karapiro, Pirongia, Pukeatua, Rukuhia, Te Miro and Te Pahu.
A booklet called What’s the Story? has been developed to summarise what’s proposed. It says Cambridge will need more than 7,000 more houses by 2050 to cope with projected population growth.
More than 30,000 people are projected to be living in the town within the next 30-35 years – an increase of more than 14,000 residents.
Cambridge’s projected growth will demand a further 582 hectares of new residential land be developed around the town by 2050. Until 2035, that growth will be largely centred in the northwest bordering the town belt.
Planning for that area is already well underway. By 2035, Council wants enough residential land ready for around 5,700 more houses – including the 1,044 houses already allowed for in Cambridge north.
It is also planning for another 36 hectares of industrial land at Hautapu.  A mix of residential and high density housing is being proposed.
Some residential sections of 600-800sqm will be available along with compact residential housing on 300-400sqm lots. These may include stand-alone houses, semidetached, terraced housing or low-rise, walk-up apartments.
All housing will be close to open space as well as walking and cycling links. Provision is also being made for two new neighbourhood shopping centres.
The first on Victoria Road opposite Norfolk Drive may include three or four retail stores, a supermarket and community facilities.
A larger shopping centre is proposed near Hamilton Road with enough space for 12-14 stores, a supermarket and a central community space.
Hall said Council was aware of the value placed on Cambridge’s character and had allowed for features to be retained and enhanced. “We are proposing continuing large green street frontages and tree-lined streets and would like to continue the existing street grid pattern.
We want strong walking and cycling links and local playgrounds and informal play spaces that are very easily accessible,” Hall said.
“A number of new formal sports fields are proposed. “ Overall we’ve allowed for 15 per cent of green space within each new growth area but of course, that’s all open to feedback.”
Huge work has already been undertaken to consider how infrastructure like roads, water and storm water will be provided to new housing and other developments. Te Awamutu and Kihikihi will need nearly 3500 more houses by 2050 to cope with projected population growth.
That’s two new houses per week for the next 37 years to house more than 18,000 people likely to be living in the area.
In Te Awamutu, the council also wants an additional 20 hectares of industrial land and 16 hectares for commercial land to accommodate new factories, warehousing, office space and retail development.
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