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Flaxmere housing progress – it’s Flaxmere’s time


An artist’s impression of possible housing design and layout for 244 Flaxmere Ave.

Hastings District Council has fast-tracked much-needed housing on council land in Flaxmere, and this week councillors approved advancing work on two proposed developments.

Facing a critical housing shortage, Council approached the government last year seeking Crown Infrastructure Partners funding to develop three areas of council-owned residential land in Flaxmere. Council received $11.5m to go towards building the water and roading infrastructure to support affordable, quality housing.

Yesterday, council considered two of the blocks – one at 244 Flaxmere Ave, the other an area west of the Flaxmere town centre at 30 Swansea Rd.

In designing the possible housing layouts, density and type, strong consideration is being given to ensuring these areas will be places that attract a mix of residents and be of a quality that stands the test of time.

Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said this marked an exciting milestone for Flaxmere.

“This is an important investment to solve the immediate housing shortage as well as being a sustainable solution for the future.

“We know that development in Flaxmere in the past has been haphazard and not properly thought out for the long-term benefit and wellbeing of the community.

“These developments mean we can put in place quality housing options that the community can be proud of; that are well-designed and will continue to be fit for purpose for our Flaxmere community in 50 years’ time.”

She said Council appreciated being able to connect with the working group made up of Flaxmere residents that had been formed in response to the proposed housing developments.

“These people are passionate about this community and it’s great to have their input and feedback.”

244 Flaxmere Avenue

Councillors agreed to an infrastructure plan for the 2.5ha site, including 15 houses to go on the market, about seven sites to be developed by a community provider, and potentially 10 to 15 sites to be developed by an organisation providing progressive home ownership products such as shared equity and rent to buy.

The intention is for there to be no more than 20 per cent public housing across the whole development.

Work will now begin on constructing the roading and water infrastructure, and a more detailed housing concept design and potential covenants would be brought back to council at a later date.

Flaxmere Town Centre

This land was zoned community/residential, along with a significant area for commercial development, after extensive consultation with the community in 2011, and it included the provision of a supermarket.

Mrs Hazlehurst said it was now Flaxmere’s time to see this area developed into a place to suit the community’s needs.

Incorporating community feedback, which has already attracted more than 120 responses, the plan is to have a mix of housing types from stand-alone homes to three-storey apartments.

Because this development would encroach on the area currently occupied by the skate park and basketball courts, council agreed to go ahead with planning a concept design for a new skate park and basketball courts in Flaxmere Park, which would cost up to $500,000, funded from the Flaxmere Land Development Reserve.

The working group will be kept informed throughout the planning process.

Speaking on behalf of the Flaxmere First Housing Development committee, Bert Lincoln said a recent meeting on these plans with Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, councillors Henare O’Keefe, Alwyn Corban, and Peleti Oli, chief executive Nigel Bickle and council staff “was very informative, extremely helpful and gave great encouragement to the group”.

“The initial concept plans distributed at the meeting were well received by all and we look forward to future consultation as this development and others move forward.”

Councillors agreed to endorse the proposed roading layout, but asked that as the work progresses, the more detailed design, including the built housing environment and potential covenants, and the future allocation of land for commercial development, come back to council for ongoing decision-making.

9 August 2021

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