Small sections urged in town

Geraldine sections could become smaller in a bid to accommodate the town's growing ageing population.

A review of the town's population growth shows 70 to 105 new houses could be needed within the next 13 years due to a predicted increase in people aged over 65.

It is estimated that 34 per cent of the town's population is likely to be over the age of 65 by 2026.

The Timaru District Council has drafted a discussion document to determine what can be done to accommodate these people.

Reducing the size of allotments is one option being considered. The review shows that splitting up existing sections was the most sustainable option. Another option is to create new subdivisions on bare land.

The review shows only 4 per cent of existing allotments in the town are less than 500 square metres and 31.3 per cent of households have only one person.

To meet the changing demand, the review shows it would be "desirable" for Geraldine to have about 20-25 per cent of allotments under 500sqm by 2026.

There is also "considerable scope" for more two-bedroom dwellings to cater for the large number of one and two-person households.

Additional residential zoning was not likely to be needed.

Geraldine Ward councillor Kerry Stevens said the report made two recommendations - that the council promote subdivision of properties and that the town's sewerage system is replaced, sooner rather than later, to cope with demand.

The overall response from the report was promising, he said.

"I'm just pleased council has done an investigation into the needs of the town.

"It's something that's been called for, for some time and it's pleasing that it's been done, and quite thoroughly and professionally.

"It's answered quite a few questions people have had."

The Timaru Herald