Tamahere residents will have their say on designs for a proposed village retail centre which supporters say will give the village a community focal point.
Submissions to Waikato District Council's Tamahere Structure Plan will be heard at the council's offices in Ngaruawahia today.
The hearings are set for two days.
The plan change provides for the establishment of a compact retail centre, together with a sports pavilion and field, a village square, car-parking areas and alterations to the roading layout.
Waikato District Tamahere ward councillor Wally Hayes said there was strong community support to build a ''high quality'' retail precinct at Tamahere.
''The community's vision is to have an old heritage-type design and it's about getting clarity and balance around the design guide to allow developers to achieve this vision,'' Mr Hayes said.
''Unless you've got kids at school there is no community centre at Tamahere.
The village design is unique because it faces away from the road and overlooks recreational grounds.
The purpose of the hearings is to hear the people and to get their views and to see if the council has got it right.''
The council has argued a single neighbourhood village was preferable to having commercial development spread throughout Tamahere.
Forty submissions have been received around the village centre design.
Mr Hayes said the new village design could feature between six to eight shops and help Tamahere residents avoid travelling to Hamilton to buy day-to-day items.
Another expected talking point at the two-day hearing will be the council's proposed stormwater management plan.
In July, the council released a study into the drainage patterns of the Tamahere Country Living Zone, showing potential flood risk areas during extreme rainfall for 920 properties.
The move infuriated some residents who said the data was dated and didn't take into account extensive drainage work undertaken in the area.
Mr Hayes said there was still concerns about the stormwater management plan but ''it is a work in progress''.
He said the council had updated its aerial contour mapping data and was carrying out remodelling work which would be available in February.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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