Substantial parcels of land identified for future urban growth in Warkworth have become development ready earlier than expected.
This follows Auckland Council’s Planning Committee decision to adopt a refreshed version of the Future Urban Land Strategy.
When the strategy was first released in November 2015, it envisaged land in Warkworth’s North and North East being development-ready between 2022 and 2026, based mainly on the constraints of water and wastewater infrastructure. Warkworth south would follow around 2027-2031, after Warkworth North and when key transport links were in place.
However, Stubbs Farm developer Jamie Peters says some of the impediments to bringing Warkworth forward have been removed.
“Watercare has announced a start on a new wastewater station and improvements to the water supply are also underway,” Mr Peters says.
“Plus the Matakana Link Road has become a certainty and work has started on the motorway extension.”
Mr Peters and business partner Mark Francis, both directors of Turnstone Capital, own nearly 50-hectares between Viv Davie-Martin Drive and Hudson Road, including the former Ryman farm, on the southern side of Falls Road.
They are also in the final stages of purchasing 60-hectares on the eastern side of State Highway 1, neighbouring the Warkworth Showgrounds.
“I think a lot of people are underestimating the impact that the new motorway will have on Warkworth,” Mr Peters says.
“We’ve been bombarded by enquiries about the Warkworth project, coming from a range of sources, from developers to some business sectors. There’s a lot of interest from housing companies, in particular, who are actually pulling back from development in other areas where infrastructure is not ready.
“Warkworth is also a very desirable area.”
Turnstone hopes to have the first lots in its development on the market within four years, but first it has to prepare a Structure Plan as part of the Plan Change process.
The plan, encompassing both farm sites, as well as other privately-owned land, is underway and the Plan Change is expected to run in tandem with resource consent applications.
Burnette Macnicol, of O’Connor Planning Consultants, says pre-consultation has been held with neighbours and those directly affected, ahead of full public consultation when the Plan Change is notified.
A mix of housing is planned, including town houses and apartments to single dwellings, with lot sizes ranging from 250sqm to 800sqm. Other uses, such as a retirement home, are also being discussed.
Mr Peters says he is encouraged by talks held with Auckland Transport over the Western Collector.
“It makes sense for the road to go through our development to meet the Matakana link road at SH1. Using Hudson Road would be a disaster.”