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Rural hamlet plan for area

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2013
Beachlands

NEW CONCEPT: Ahuareka Village would be surrounded in a rural setting, three kilometres south of Beachlands. At the moment it is largely a cattle farm.

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A unique hamlet called Ahuareka Village might be built just out of Beachlands.

A resource consent for the 186-house subdivision is now publicly notified with the council.

The village would be nestled on a 0.93 square kilometre section across the Whitford-Maraetai Rd from the entrance to Whitford Forest.

The application by Ahuareka Trustees Ltd says the settlement would be arranged around a central square to give a sense of community, identity and focus.

"Overall, the hamlet will have the structure and sense of community and place of a rural village, although it will not have all of the components of a village," the application says.

"This alternative model is one which takes the idea of clustering housing into a full response to the characteristics and capacities of the site, to accommodate an efficient and sustainable form of housing growth."

The proposal is a non-complying activity under the district plan and is outside of the rural urban boundary and metropolitan urban limit.

The hamlet would include a country pub with guest rooms, a 300 square metre community building, an artisan precinct, two retail units, three commercial or office tenancies and gardening allotments.

Development would only take place on 20 per cent of the site, surrounded with a protected open rural landscape and remnant forest that would be communally owned by the homeowners.

"Open pasture, orchards, bush areas and parks will surround the hamlet, incorporating the access road, an 80 space open carpark and walking, cycle and bridle paths," it says.

"The proposal will open up a scenic and active coastal and rural experience to the public through a network of paths and tracks and will also enable the local iwi access to reinforce their connection with this land and the adjacent coast."

Ahuareka Village will not be a gated community but the houses will be of varying sizes and prices.

"All new buildings have also been individually architecturally designed in a rural New Zealand vernacular."

The site at 650-680 Whitford-Maraetai Rd already has consent for a countryside living development of 26 houses.

Visit tinyurl.com/Ahuareka to view the resource consent. Submissions have to be made by January 14.

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- Eastern Courier

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