Green a big part of new neighbourhoods

Colour coded: The four proposed neighbourhoods are: Breadalbane (orange); Bull Hill (pink); Middle Range (yellow); Upper Plateau (pale blue). The green areas are the proposed park and reserve, while the darker blue denotes existing ponds.

Initial plans to rezone land for new neighbourhoods in Havelock North have been released and they include two new green spaces – one a park; the other a reserve.

The draft plan preserves what is locally known as Bull Hill; home to a large outdoor sculpture of a bull. It was fashioned from chains found at the Whakatu freezing works by the late artist William Jameson. The two-hectare park could potentially include a neighbourhood playground made from natural materials and a small wetland.

The other green space, about 10 hectares, would be a reserve, running along a ridge heading north-south from Middle Rd and was expected to include limestone walking tracks for public access. 

Hastings District Council is calling for feedback on the proposal, with a refined plan expected to go out to the public for formal submissions towards the end of the year.

Councillor George Lyons, chairman of Council’s planning and regulatory committee, is encouraging people to give their feedback on this initial plan.

“The group made up of neighbours and other locals have worked closely with Council on this structure plan. We are now looking for broader input before we put together a final plan.”

The tract of land, between Middle Rd and Iona Rd, is considered to have special characteristics. The plan recognises this by tailoring each of the proposed neighbourhoods to its surrounding area.

“The group has been very particular about designing the four neighbourhoods so they are in keeping with the special character of the each of the areas; and to preserve the special attributes already within the zone – things like the established tree plantings in what will be the new reserve and, of course, the Bull sculpture,” said Mr Lyons.

The proposal divides the area into four neighbourhoods. It is envisaged that development around Bull Hill park will feature mixed-sized sections and a small commercial area suitable for a food store and café.

The Middle Ridge area (sitting between the reserve and the Bull Hill residential area), will be designed in a way that retains its semi-rural character, with section sizes larger than those in the Bull Hill neighbourhood.

Under the proposed plan, the upper plateau neighbourhood on the other side of the reserve will be limited to 20 sections and include significant tree planting.

The fourth neighbourhood, off Breadalbane Ave, will have elements that reflect the existing special character of that area.

Depending on the final plan, it is envisaged that the development will provide near to 400 new sections.

The proposed development is identified within the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy (HPUDS), a regional plan put together to protect the food growing soils of the region.

For more information and to provide feedback on the draft plan see: www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz/iona-urban-growth-area-consultation