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Marlborough Express - 2021-11-26

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Survey asks what sort

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Blenheim’s population is growing faster than expected and town planners are wondering how much further the town should be allowed to sprawl. The town has gained more than 5000 people since 2006, reaching an estimated 28,800 in June this year, according to Stats NZ. Back in 2006, Blenheim was not expected to reach 29,000 until 2031. Strategic planner Emma Toy said Blenheim was now expected to grow to more than 34,000 by 2048 but the Stats NZ projections tended to be low and she thought the rate of growth would be even higher. ‘‘To meet this level of growth, Blenheim will need a significant number of new homes to be built over the next 30 years,’’ Toy said. ‘‘There is going to be demand for additional land for housing in Blenheim. We have got quite a lot of land zoned [for development] but it has not been taken up as fast as we would have liked.’’ Councils had to make sure they had enough land available for housing and businesses, under the National Policy Statement for Urban Development (NPS-UD), released last year. The Marlborough District Council launched a survey yesterday to better understand the demand for homes. ‘‘This is our first attempt at directly asking our community what they would like, if they are going to build, what is it they want and need, within their financial restraints,’’ Toy said. The survey would include questions about what price a person would pay for a house, or what they could afford to pay in rent, and what part of Blenheim they preferred to live in, Toy said. ‘‘What type of home do you want to live in? Would you prefer a unit, an

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