A new causeway bridge could be built within 18 months of the Waikato District Council agreeing to re-zone the land on Rangitahi Peninsula, says the Raglan Land Company.
The council started hearing submissions on the company’s land change proposal for the peninsula in Raglan this week. The hearing at the Raglan Bowling Club, which will continue until at least today (Thursday), is being held before two independent commissioners who will make a recommendation to council.
The Raglan Land Company (RLC), owned by the local Peacocke family, wants a 97-hectare area currently zoned ‘coastal’ to be re-zoned to allow a multi-stage development of mixed-use sites and more than 500 residential sites to go ahead over the next 40 years.
A total of 127 submissions were made on the proposal, nearly 30 of which would be presented at the hearing. The submissions came from individuals and organizations including the Raglan Residents and Ratepayers Association, Tainui Hapu, Fish and Game NZ, the NZ Fire Service Commission and the NZ Transport Agency.
The RLC has two days to present its point of view. This would be followed by a site visit, then nearly two days of oral submissions, finishing with the council report.
While most of the existing Rangitahi Peninsula residents supported the development, there were many submissions opposing it.
Opoturu Road residents were concerned about how an increase in traffic on their street, as the main access to the development, would affect them. Others were concerned about the impact of the development on Raglan’s character and environment, the infrastructure’s ability to cope with it, the effect on rates and ratepayers, and whether the commercial part of the development would take business away from the existing central business area.
Those for the development supported the growth it would bring and the extra amenities, such as the proposed walking and cycling tracks on the peninsula.
David Peacocke said while he did not have a specific timeframe, he planned to start with the bridge – and this could be 18 months away – if the Private Plan Change 12 was approved by council.
The northern end of the peninsula, where there are currently seven properties owned by other people, would be the first area of development. This could comprise 30-40 houses at first, which could take three to four years.
While he didn’t see any demand for commercial development right at the start, the re-zoning would allow for some small commercial development, such as a childcare centre, a retirement village and a coffee shop.
According to RLC’s re-zoning application, the vision for the first stage of development, the so called ‘Village Core’, was a high-density 117-lot residential area covering 7.7 hectares with a mixed use village concentrated around a central square. This would include visitor accommodation and facilities and boutique commercial facilities.
Over the 10-year history of the proposed development, the council had agreed in principle that some form of development on the Rangitahi Peninsula was appropriate but on the condition that development was “sustainable and in accordance with landscape management, urban design and structure planning best practice”.