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News archive May 2017 - January 2015

Council decisions on Smiths Farm

Council agrees on sale of land, recommendation of a Special Housing Area and options for access and buffer area at Smiths Farm, Bethlehem

Disposal of land

Tauranga City Councillors agreed today to sell approximately the 15ha of the Smiths Farm land which is suitable for development. The remainder of the land, including Kopurererua Valley reserve land on the eastern side of Takitimu Drive and the green bank along Takitimu Drive will be retained in Council ownership.

Smiths Farm is one of the Council-owned properties included in Council’s wider Land Sales Programme. Land sold is surplus to requirements and proceeds from sales contribute to reducing Council debt.

Establishment of a Special Housing Area (SHA)

Councillors subsequently agreed to recommend to the Minister of Housing that a Special Housing Area (SHA) be established over Smiths Farm. Establishing a SHA will allow for suburban residential development of the area, and to provide additional housing within close proximity to the city that can be serviced by surrounding infrastructure. A SHA does not need to be used for low cost housing, affordable housing or social housing.

Decisions on development of the land will be made in the new year. Council will consider whether to:

  • sell the land to a developer;
  • partner with a developer; or
  • undertake the development itself.

The recommendation to the Minister of Housing will include a prescription to limit the height of buildings within the SHA to 9 metres.

Council also discussed additional issues and options around road access and the interface between the existing Westridge subdivision and Smiths Farm.

Road access

Following numerous submissions from the Westridge Drive community, Council agreed that access to the new development will not be through Westridge Drive, but through another accessway to be built. Options and associated costs will be considered in the new year. Council will retain a strip of land at the end of Westridge Drive to accommodate potential extension and connection of Westridge Drive to the new accessway, should the Westridge Drive community support this in the future.

Buffer area

Further to concerns from the local community around the interface between the existing Westridge Drive subdivision and the proposed development at Smiths Farm, Council today agreed to include a buffer area between the two areas. This buffer will consist of rural residential lots and stormwater drainage reserves. This will help preserve the quiet and secluded nature of the Westridge subdivision. 

Published: Tuesday, 15 Dec 2015 16:00 by Tauranga City Council

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