Housing, transport, employment, an ageing population, the environment – how do we manage those and other big issues in the western Bay of Plenty over the next 30 years as we look to house an extra 66,000 people?
That question is the focus of the Proposed Future Development Strategy, which opens for consultation on Friday 5 October.
Councils in high growth areas like the western Bay of Plenty are required by Government to assess future housing and business needs and create a development strategy for the next 30 years.
The Future Development Strategy (FDS), complemented by Tauranga City Council’s Urban Strategy, aims to drive the discussion and decision-making needed to manage this expected growth. SmartGrowth is a partnership of councils, tangata whenua, community groups and some government agencies in the western Bay of Plenty and has a focus on spatial planning.
SmartGrowth’s Independent Chair Bill Wasley said that the FDS “identifies the big issues – things like housing, transport, employment, an ageing demographic, cultural wellbeing, the environment – that we must collectively consider as our population increases over the next 30 years. Where and how will we house an extra 66,000 people in 43,000 more homes? What kind of transport systems and infrastructure do we need including transport investment decisions now and into the future? What options are on the table right now? How do we ensure that an integrated approach is taken to providing for land use and the investment decisions required to ensure that sustainable communities develop and the broad range of needs are provided for?"
Mr Wasley said that the document sets goals but also aims to spark discussion and debate, feedback and great ideas and will be reviewed every three years.
“We’re aiming for sustainable, desirable, affordable living and by 2048 we’re expected to have 250,000 people living in the western Bay. More homes will need to fit into the existing Tauranga urban area especially those areas that run along Cameron Road from the central city to Greerton and more rural land will be developed for new areas of housing and business."
The Proposed Future Development Strategy will be consulted on alongside the Tauranga Urban Strategy from 5 October to 5 November and the SmartGrowth partnership would like to know what you think of the plans for managing growth over the next 30 years.
People can read the full documents or summaries and access the submission form on the SmartGrowth website www.smartgrowthbop.org.nz/strategy/future-development-strategy/ or www.tauranga.govt.nz/tauranga-urban-strategy for the Urban Strategy.
SmartGrowth is also also holding a series of community meetings for people to meet with SmartGrowth Leadership Group members including representatives from each of the three local councils and tangata whenua.
These meetings are being held as an alternative to formal hearings, so are an opportunity for people to have their ideas and discussion about the proposed strategy recorded. This information will then be used by the SmartGrowth partnership as it makes decisions on adopting the strategy.
The meetings are being held at:
- Settlers’ Lounge Te Puke War Memorial Hall, 17 October from 5 to 7pm. Co-hosted with Te Puke EDG.
- Uretara Room, The Centre Pātuki Manawa, Katikati, Thursday 18 October from 5 to 7pm. Co-hosted with Katch Katikati.
- Western Bay Chambers, Barkes Corner, Tuesday 23 October from 5 to 7pm.
- Aihe Room, Papamoa Library, Thursday 25 October from 5 to 7pm.
- Tauranga City Council, Willow Street, Wednesday 31 October from 5 to 7pm.