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26 October 2017
Te Awamutu's 'hub' has moved beyond the concept stage and is well on its way to becoming a reality, says Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest.
In 2010 the Council and local stakeholders developed a town concept plan based around creating a vibrant town centre linking retail and recreational activities. They came up with the hub concept, based around a central meeting place which would eventually link to the wider district through pedestrian and cycle links.
Mylchreest said over recent years the council has worked away on developing the hub concept, based on the area around Selwyn Park.
"We have the Trust Waikato Events Centre and library now anchoring that area and we're discussing the concept of a new discovery centre incorporating museum services, an interactive space and the i-SITE," he said.
"Work will begin soon on developing the new destination playground and children's bike skills park, all linking to the rose gardens. And we've also begun work on developing our local cycleways and walkways. So while the hub remains a long-term project, things are now coming together and it's well past plans on a piece of paper."
Council has produced a booklet providing more detail about the long-term vision for the area. It details the creation of six zones; business, cultural, residential, recreation, sports/health and main street. Alexandra St would remain the main retail precinct with Market St linking the main street with the hub. Mahoe St would include a mix of restaurants, office space and potentially, higher-density residential housing.
Feedback is specifically being sought on plans for Churchill St which is currently zoned commercial / road reserve and contains a large piece of under-utilised Council-owned land. Council may consider selling the land, conditional on a purchaser developing residential or visitor accommodation that supports the hub concept.
"We want the right facilities in place at the right time, so let's tread carefully and do this right," Mylchreest said. "By 2050, we'll potentially have another 5,400 people living in Te Awamutu and Kihikihi so we need to plan carefully."
An information session based around the hub concept will be held at the Te Awamutu library on November 9 with council staff available to take questions about what's being proposed. That feedback would be considered when Council develops its draft 10-Year Plan which will go out to the community for feedback next year.
In the meantime, booklets detailing plans for the hub are available from Council offices and libraries, or can be downloaded from waipadc.govt.nz/MajorProjects.
Caption: Waipa District Councillors Marcus Gower (left) and Andrew Brown with a new booklet detailing plans for Te Awamutu's hub.
Media enquiries, contact: Natalie Palmer, 027 807 3174