Fast-track for huge Napier development
Marty Sharpe firstname.lastname@example.org
A proposal to create up to 670 homes on rural land on the outskirts of Napier has been referred for a fast-track consenting process. The Riverbend Residential Development would see hundreds of residential units built on 22 hectares of rural land at the southern fringe of the city alongside the suburb of Maraenui. The proposal seeks to build 648 to 670 residential units. The project would include different types of housing, from single level to three storeys in height. It would also include provision for up to 4500 square metres of commercial floor space on the ground floor of some of the residential units. This would be for retail, childcare and other commercial activities. The application was made in August by three companies: Tawanui Developments Ltd, K3 Kahungunu Property Ltd and Mana Ahuriri Holdings Ltd. Late last month Environment Minister David Parker referred the proposal to an expert consenting panel under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track consenting) Act 2020, meaning it can bypass the normal council and public consultation process. Parker considered written comments from relevant ministers, Napier City Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. Parker acknowledged the project would have ‘‘positive effects on social wellbeing by providing a diverse range of housing types in an area where additional housing supply is urgently needed and where there are limited affordable housing options’’; that it would provide about 186 fulltime equivalent jobs per year over a two-year planning and construction period; and that any adverse effects could be tested by an expert consenting panel. The land is in three titles: two were bought by the Crown in the past two years for state housing for $13.6 million. The third title, was purchased last year for $3.9m.