Hastings District Council today signed off on a working draft of the 2021-2031 draft Long Term Plan that will be adopted for community consultation on March 18.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the district had made great progress dealing with the ramifications of COVID-19, but there were big challenges ahead future-proofing the district, managing growth and providing essential services.
Mayor Hazlehurst said the consultation would seek feedback from the community on their priorities and the investment levels over the next ten years.
“We have achieved some great outcomes for our community and economy over the last three years based on the priorities of the previous Long Term Plan. We want to keep up this great work while also balancing the need for rates to remain affordable at a time where COVID-19 has created some real challenges for parts of our community.”
The consultation, to be undertaken in April this year, will focus on key issues including: Council’s commitment to installing and maintaining vital roading and water infrastructure; the continued challenge of managing growth and housing supply; completing the remaining city centre revitalisation projects; attracting employment and economic investment opportunities; providing services to help improve the opportunities for young people; and enhancing and protecting the district’s natural spaces.
“We own $2 billion worth of infrastructure assets so it’s really important for our council to continue to maintain and invest in them for the safety of our community and our environment,” Mrs Hazlehurst said.
“We also need to plan for our growing population, which will require more housing which is carefully managed in terms of where those houses are located, and helping to address the need for affordable homes and transitional/emergency housing supply.
“We also face the significant issue of managing our water - planning for the security of water supply in both urban and rural communities, and the impacts of supply on the agriculture and horticulture sectors is something we must remain focused on for the health and prosperity of the district.”
The Long Term Plan will also include targeted consultation in Havelock North around proposed changes to parking rates, and in both Havelock North and Hastings regarding proposed city centre streetscape enhancements.
To fund the work programme, the overall rating revenue requirement for the first three years of the draft plan forecasts rate increases of 6.8 per cent in the first year, 6.5 per cent in the second year and 5.3 per cent in the third year.
It projects an average 3.75 per cent increases for years four to 10.
Infrastructure necessities in rural areas, in particular renewing, resealing and maintaining rural roads, and strengthening bridges are driving forecast rate increases in the rural areas averaging seven per cent in the first six years of the plan.
“When we put this draft plan out for consultation next month we really want to hear from our community, and encourage all ages and sectors of our community to tell us what their priorities are for our work ahead.”
Residents will receive the consultation document to their homes when the consultation opens, with information and submission forms also available online and out Hastings libraries. The consultation period will run for five weeks.
11 February 2021
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