Hamilton City Council has approved sending the Te Awa Lakes Special Housing Area proposal to Government.

The Council met on June 26 to consider the Perry Group proposal for its former sand quarry site at Horotiu.

Councillors voted 10 – 2 in favour of sending the Te Awa Lakes proposal to the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Phil Twyford, for consideration as a Special Housing Area (SHA). SHAs are a short to medium term tool to quickly bring more housing to the market through an accelerated resource consent process.

The Te Awa Lakes master plan includes construction of around 1,000 homes, of which at least 400 will be categorized as affordable.

“We know that Hamilton, as a growing city, has a housing shortfall. The provision, in the first stage of up to 1000 residential homes through the Te Awa Lakes masterplan, will help to increase affordability in the city,” said Perry Group Chairman, Simon Perry.

“Our river is at the heart of our region and it is my hope that Te Awa Lakes will help orient the city toward this fantastic natural asset,” he said.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King described the plan is ambitious.

“Our city is relatively small, has limited land and is growing fast. We need to balance the need for land for housing and land for industrial businesses. I understand the concerns of surrounding industrial businesses wanting to protect this area for future industrial use, but this opportunity is just too important for the city not to progress it.”

The Council’s General Manager City Growth Jen Baird said the proposal is what is needed for the city to get more houses on the market.

“The government created the SHA legislation to enhance housing affordability by increasing the supply of land and houses. This enables a fresh look at land not already zoned for homes, and this is exactly what The Perry Group have done with their industrial site in Te Rapa. Their challenge now is to transform a former sand quarry into a thriving new community,” said Ms Baird.

“The vision for the site is exciting – it will bring another 400 affordable homes to the market in Hamilton and will transform Hamilton’s northern gateway.”

If the SHA proposal is approved by the Government, Perry Group will submit resource consents to the Council using an accelerated consenting process.