Waipā housing demand meeting supply
Waipā district has sufficient land for the short, medium and long-term outlook for future housing and industry demands, says a Council report.
The Waipā 2021 Housing and Building Capacity Assessment (HBA) report, created for the Futureproof sub-regional partnership of Waipā District Council, Hamilton City Council and Waikato District Council, was delivered to Waipā District Council’s Strategic Planning & Policy Committee meeting this week.
Mayor Jim Mylchreest noted that the Council had received criticism from central government for not having enough zoned land in the district but was pleased to see the report indicated the supply was sufficient for the next 10-30 years.
The report also indicated Council’s approach to future planning was looked at favourably, said Group Manager – District Growth and Regulatory Services, Wayne Allan, but predicted continual shortfalls in lower to mid-priced housing in the future.
“It is certainly pleasing to see the report identifies that there is sufficient housing development capacity in the district which is an outcome of the way we plan at Waipā. We have brought forward some of our growth areas earlier for development and continue to work closely with our developers to prepare their structure plans to get housing and industrial areas underway at the appropriate time,” Allan said.
A key challenge from the report findings, is how to better deliver a wider variety of housing types and costs to meet changing community needs as affordable housing becomes out of reach in an increasingly desirable Waipā district.
“Affordable is a key issue identified in the report but this is not isolated only to Waipā. What’s important to recognise is that we need to provide for a range of tenures so we can have an offering across the district that works for everyone,” Allan added.
Councillor Clare St Pierre noted she was “blown away” by the level of detail in the report but also wanted to see some initiatives that Council or central government could get underway with to deliver more affordable homes.
The report also identified an overall sufficient supply of business-zoned land but of a ‘tight margin’ of land capacity in Cambridge, Kihikihi and Te Awamutu. The report recommended Council closely monitors the business land uptake trends to ensure feasible land and floorspace supply would meet the needs of an ever-changing economy.
Planning updates and new consent information is regularly reported to the SP&P Committee as part of the Quarterly District Growth Report, said Allan.
The HBA report is a three-yearly requirement of all high-growth councils in New Zealand for the National Policy Statement for Urban Development. It compares existing and projected housing and business demand to indicate where a council is sitting in terms of having sufficient land available for the next 30 years.
The full report and livestream of the Strategic Planning & Policy Committee meeting is available at waipadc.govt.nz/livestream.