New school, 1000 houses tipped for Richmond West as 20 SHAs approved
A new community west of Richmond, near Nelson, is in the pipeline with more than 1000 homes and a new school earmarked for the area.
Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith on Friday announced Government approval of 20 new Special Housing Areas (SHAs) in the Nelson-Tasman region with capacity for about 1700 homes.
The Nelson MP said those SHA developments involved a total investment of about $800 million, "which is truly huge for a community of our size".
More than 1000 of the 1700 proposed new homes are part of two SHAs approved for adjacent greenfield sites near McShane Rd in an area called Richmond West – ApplebyField SHA with a potential yield of 250 homes and The Meadows SHA with a minimum of 800 houses tipped including a retirement village.
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From the Richmond West site, Smith described the two SHAs as "exciting developments" that would be part of a large new community.
He added that preliminary discussions had been held with the Ministry of Education and Education Minister about a new primary school.
"It is my view that with this large-scale development in Richmond West and the pressure on rolls in the Richmond area that it is time to initiate the process for a new school in Richmond West," Smith said. "It's the right time to push the planning button."
Timing was key and it usually took the ministry about 12 months to complete its "technical work" around roll projections. Then a suitable site needed to be identified.
"This is not just about building houses; this is about building a community."
The "opening up" of the Richmond West community was particularly welcome news for first home buyers and young families because the flat land made it much less expensive to develop, Smith said.
Developer Graeme Dick tipped prices would stabilise after the new sites started to come on stream in an expected 12 to 18 months.
"I pick, the development community picks, that beyond that time frame, we're going to have a definite levelling out because there will be section availability across the pricing structure," Dick said.
Richmond West Development Company Ltd is behind the proposed residential development for The Meadows. Its team is working in conjunction with Arvida Group, which is developing the planned retirement village on 8ha of the 40ha site.
Andrew Spittal, of Richmond West Development Company, said plans were not yet finalised but it was expected the first stage of the residential development would have either 66 or 80 sections, depending on how the final design integrated with the proposals by Arvida. The "interface" between the residential and retirement village properties was still to be confirmed.
"We're looking at building two-bedroom villas, single-storey, clad like the retirement village," Spittal said of the residential properties to be built adjacent to the retirement village.
As well as the two-bedroom villas, the first stage was tipped to include some four-bedroom houses on 600 to 700 square metre sections and 20 three-bedroom, two-storey townhouses – a medium-density residential development that's new to the district.
"What we're hearing from people is there's a lot of demand for this type of living," Spittal said of the proposed townhouses. "There's nothing like this in Richmond. They'll overlook open space, either Poutama Drain or Borck Creek."
The mix of properties was a key focus for The Meadows team, which aimed to develop about 550 to 650 lots with an average section price of about $220,000, excluding GST.
"I really think anyone could live here," he said. "We're not going to build just one type of house; there will be a diversity of housing options that will appeal to a wide range of buyers."
A selection of show homes would be the first properties built and they could be completed by the end of 2018. It was hoped contractors would start work in October on the main road into the development, to be called BerryField Drive.
Arvida Group chief executive Bill McDonald said work was under way on a master plan for the proposed retirement village and it was hoped initial construction could begin by the middle of next year. Preliminary designs include more than 150 villas, apartments and care suites as well as community facilities and commercial centres, which would be open to the wider public.
"Our aim is to create a village like no other in the region, to break the mould of traditional retirement living by introducing a public community precinct, complete with a cafe, creche, health club and retail businesses," McDonald said.
Nelson barrister Camilla Owen, who worked on several of the SHA proposals, said under the Resource Management Act, a plan change would have been required to enable residential development of the land at Richmond West.
"We're here today, standing on a SHA that's taken roughly six months," Owen said, adding resource consents still needed to be obtained.
The Nelson SHAs approved by the Government are: Bayview Rd, Atawhai, 125 lots; Crown Tce, Britannia Heights, 80; Cherry Ave, Enner Glynn, 5; Wastney Tce, Marybank, 20; Quiet Woman Way, Monaco, 6; Upper Trafalgar, Nelson South, 5; Van Diemen St, Nelson South, 3; Nayland Rd, Stoke, 6; Cadiz Court, The Wood, 18; Parklands, Toi Toi, 14; Taylor Estate, Wakapuaka, 80; Highview Drive, Wakatu, 45. In Tasman they are: Sandy Bay-Marahau Rd, Marahau, 45-66; Richmond Rd, Pohara, 70; Angelus Ave, Richmond, 30-42; Highland Drive, Richmond, 32; Hill St, Richmond, 16-23; ApplebyField, Richmond West, 250; The Meadows, Richmond West, 800; Whitby Rd, Wakefield, 40.