Council to consider three options for the development of Smiths Farm, Bethlehem 13 May 2016
Council decision on sale / development of land and establishment of a Special Housing Area at Smiths Farm, Bethlehem 15 December 2015
Smiths Farm is a large Council-owned site at the end of Westridge Drive in Bethlehem.
TCC had been holding this site for the purpose of developing new sportsfields. A long-term supply and demand analysis undertaken for sportsfields across Tauranga concluded that the site is surplus to future sportsfield needs. This is primarily due to the site’s proximity to the new sportsfields development in Bethlehem, the Wairoa Active Reserve.
Report DC16 - Future Active Reserves
At this stage the Smiths Farm site is zoned for lifestyle block subdivision (rural residential). It is currently undeveloped and not open for public access. The site is leased for grazing purposes. The Smiths Farm site includes a substantial area designated for the proposed Tauranga Northern Link (TNL) route, running through the undevelopable part of the Smiths Farm site. The TNL is a proposed 6.8 kilometres of new state highway from the intersection of State Highway 2 and Loop Road (just west of Te Puna) to the tolled section of Takitimu Drive (Route K) in Tauranga.
Tauranga City Council is now considering options for the future of Smiths Farm, including sale or development.
Proposal for sale of land and establishment of a Special Housing Area
Community views on the sale/development of the site were collected first through the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan consultation in March-April 2015, and then through further consultation in October/November 2015.
Consultation on proposed sale of land and Special Housing Area - Smiths Farm
In December 2015, Council agreed to the sale / development of land at Smiths Farm, Bethlehem, and to recommend the site as a Special Housing Area (SHA) to the Minister of Housing to allow for suburban residential development. Council also decided to rule out Westridge Drive for road access for a suburban residential development, and to require a buffer between Smiths Farm and the existing Westridge subdivision. This buffer would comprise of rural residential lots and stormwater reserve/ponds.
Possible options for development
Tauranga continues to experience significant population and urban growth and this is forecast to continue for the next 20 years and beyond. This creates the need to consider whether sites on the urban fringe like Smiths Farm are suitable for housing development, to accommodate this growth.
TCC staff have identified different options for the potential development of the Smiths Farm site, and are developing feasibility studies for the range of development options.
These options are:
Lifestyle block subdivision
What it would look like: similar to the adjoining Westridge subdivision, with lot sizes greater than 3,000m2 and averaging 4,000m2.
Zoning: this option would be consistent with the site’s current rural residential zoning in the City Plan.
Suburban residential development
What it would look like: similar to the subdivisions seen in areas like Bethlehem and The Lakes, including social infrastructure like neighbourhood reserves, playgrounds and cycling/walking paths.
Zoning: this option would require either the establishment of a Special Housing Area under the Tauranga Housing Accord, or rezoning through the Resource Management Act or a Resource Consent process under the operative Tauranga City Plan.
Options we won't consider:
Industrial or commercial development options. The former is not considered suitable in the existing residential area, and the latter not commercially viable as in proximity to Bethlehem Town Centre and to the upcoming retail centre in Tauriko.
Questions or reactions?
Do you have questions or concerns about this project? We want to understand these issues so that our Councillors can make informed decisions.
Please feel free to contact us on 07 577 7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Reviewed: 13/05/2016