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Levin planning subdivision for 2000 new homes

Press Release – Horowhenua District Council
A Master Plan is being created for a 2000-home subdivision on the eastern side of Levin. Built over 20 years, it will eventually be home to about 5,000 people.

Known currently as Gladstone Green, the area is next to State Highway 57, bordered by Queen Street to the north and Tararua Road to the south, and covers 278 hectares.

The area was previously identified for growth as part of Horowhenua Development Plan 2008 and recently through the Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 that Council engaged with the community on earlier this year – the Strategy will be finalised soon and lead to a number of District Plan changes, with consultation likely to commence for one of these later this year.

The Council is co-ordinating the development of a Master Plan for the site. It has taken this approach after several landowners in the area have prepared smaller subdivision proposals for different properties across the site.

Horowhenua Growth Response Manager Daniel Haigh said the Council quickly realised that we might end up with a series of unconnected cul-de-sacs with poor links back into Levin.

“We approached the landowners and they agreed to work with us on the creation of a Master Plan that will include residential and mixed-use properties,” said Mr Haigh. “The Master Plan is essentially a conceptual layout to guide future growth and will include reserves and parks, a small retail and business area, potentially land for a new school. It will also help identify the level of infrastructure investment that will be required.”

“Transportation links will be key to the development to ensure future residents can easily access the Levin town centre and its growing offering of services.”

A report updating progress on the Master Plan was presented to Council at its Strategy Committee meeting on Wednesday.

Horowhenua District Council Levin Ward representative Cr Bernie Wanden said it is a red letter day for Levin.

“It will be the largest subdivision Levin has seen since the days of Norman Kirk in the early 1970s. Council is leading the charge in terms of creating a Master Plan but it will be left to developers to fund and build the subdivision according to the plans agreed to by our community.”

Horowhenua has economically turned a corner. It is growing faster than independent experts predicted – at a minimum the District needs an additional 244 new homes to be built every year. The demand is mostly due to the development of the Wellington Northern Corridor Motorway and independent consultants advise that this growth will occur regardless of whether the Government completes the Ōtaki to North of Levin (Ō2NL) stage of the Motorway or not.

Cr Wanden said Council has written to New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) advising them of the development and calling on them to provide clear timeframes for the re-evaluation process currently being undertaken and expedite a decision on the preferred route of Ō2NL.

“Council Officers will work with NZTA to incorporate a preferred route for the motorway to provide developers and new home buyers with confidence.”

Mr Haigh said the location of the subdivision allowed for easy access to existing sewage and water infrastructure that has capacity to cope with the development although some upgrades will be required. Therefore the infrastructure costs for development will be lower than if new infrastructure had to be installed from scratch.

“We began conversations with four landowners in the Gladstone Green area who originally approached Council with their individual development proposals. Since then a fifth has indicated their interest in coming on board and we are open to discussions with other landowners in the area.”

Engagement with the wider community will start next month.

What is a Master Plan?

Master Plans are used to help create new suburbs to ensure they have the facilities they need for future generations. The planning process allows Council to identify key features and constraints. The process allows the effects of large-scale development of land, owned by a number of different people, to be better understood and managed. It allows flexibility for developers and landowners to design their developments according to their style and preferred design outcomes.

The Master Planning process includes analysis, recommendations and proposals for population, economy, housing, transport, community facilities and land use. It will address non-physical aspects such as funding, scheduling and phasing so that costs can be shared fairly amongst the developers involved in the process. Council is striving for an optimal community outcome for this area by utilising best practice urban design principles and addressing connectivity within the development and integration with the existing Levin Township.

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