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Irongate steaming ahead

As the work to get water and sewer services to Irongate nears completion, interest in the industrial area is ramping up.

Escalating growth in the pip fruit industry has led to increased need for packing and cool store facilities. The building of a pack house and cool store for Sunfruit Orchards Limited has started, and others are closely investigating the area.

Other likely candidates include logistics businesses, transport companies and wholesalers.

Bringing sewerage and water to the zone has made a huge difference, says Hastings District Council’s economic growth group manager Craig Cameron.

“It is important that this kind of development is placed in areas that work for industry but don’t cover our best growing soils with infrastructure. The areas Council has designated for industrial growth, Irongate and Omahu, are ideal.

“The timing has been perfect too. There is a great deal of business and residential interest in Hastings and having this area ready and serviced makes it easy for industry to either relocate here, or to grow existing business.”

Such investment in infrastructure by private companies strongly indicated that they would be in the region for the long haul, Mr Cameron said. “That will lead to increased job opportunities and the inevitable growth in business-to-business trade.”

The project to put in sewer and water services to Irongate has required a link to the main Hastings systems, through new pipes put in along Maraekakaho Rd.

That process has gone very smoothly, says Council’s asset group manager Craig Thew.

“The work that is in the public eye along Maraekakaho Rd is almost completed, after which the contractors will be back in the Irongate zone to complete connections. There are some road words to do in Irongate Rd in the future to allow for increased truck traffic as well.”

Those travelling Maraekakaho Rd recently would have seen that the pipes had been put in using an underground drilling technique, which meant an open trench did not have to be cut.

“It is a very effective system when long lengths of pipe are being laid,” said Mr Thew.

“It minimises the length of time the project takes and means there is less clean up afterwards; things like reinstating the road surface. There is less disruption all round.”

The cost of the infrastructure is initially covered by Council loans with the cost being recouped as land was built on, triggering ‘development contributions’ to be paid to Council.

4 October 2017

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