$50m lifestyle village gets the go-ahead

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 13:00 27/02/2014
Courtney Lott
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
LOCATION: The view from Hillplough Heights (off Hill St) of land to be used for the proposed Olive Estate lifestyle village in Richmond.

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Plans for a $50 million lifestyle village on Richmond's Wensley Rd have been approved by the Tasman District Council.

Stillwater Gardens owner, Integrity Care Group, applied last year for resource consents to establish and operate a lifestyle village, to subdivide land, and to undertake earthworks. A hearing was held in November and the commissioners, councillors Tim King, Stuart Bryant and Brian Ensor have now granted the consents.

Olive Estate, on 8.4 hectares, will include 112 villas, 30 two-storey townhouses, three multistorey apartment blocks containing a total of 26 apartments and a care facility.

The care facility will contain a further 58 apartments and a rest home, dementia care ward and hospital care units.

Company director Kristin Nimmo said based on average occupancy statistics, Olive Estate would have about 397 residents living on site. It will target people aged 55 and over.

She said she and co-director Mark Nimmo were pleased with the resource consent decision, and were excited to move on to the next phase of developing Olive Estate. The next stage included finalising the design drawings for building consent and beginning the registration process with the Retirement Village Registrar.

Mrs Nimmo said they were legally unable to accept offers from the public on dwellings within Olive Estate before it was registered. She estimated registration would be complete within a month to six weeks. She said around 40 people had signed up to receive email newsletters about Olive Estate, some of whom were builders and contractors.

"We are keen to progress this as soon as possible during the next few months."

Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne said the development was a "very big deal" for Richmond. He acknowledged there were concerns voiced in the community, but as the development had been through the resource consent process, he was confident they had been taken into account and addressed through conditions.

Mr Kempthorne said Olive Estate gave a "more expansive" option for clients than other villages on the market, saying its intensive nature was appealing. "Some people have been concerned that it will be not a nice development, but I don't share that opinion."

Richmond councillor Mark Greening was one of those who submitted against the consent, sending in a 69-signature petition from "concerned residents". His elderly parents own a property near the proposed site. He said he and the residents were "deeply disappointed" with the decision to grant consent, saying the group was considering an appeal to the Environment Court.

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In their petition, the group sought to have the consent denied unless a number of changes were made, including moving some buildings further back from the boundary fence and reducing the height of the apartment buildings.

"We believe this development will create more problems in the long term than any development levies received by council from this development will cover," Mr Greening said.

In the consent decision, the commissioners disagreed with Mr Greening that the development was high-density, saying that moving buildings further back from the boundary was therefore unnecessary.

Submitters have 15 working days to appeal the decision.

- Nelson

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