Western Bay of Plenty District Council has made recommendations relating to the future development of the Te Puna Village commercial area.
More than 80 people shared their views on the commercial area through on-line engagement and at two open days held in October 2018. Meetings were also held with local hapū and key interest groups.
Five key areas of concern have been identified as a result of that consultation:
· wastewater infrastructure
· transportation including the need for improved walking and cycling connections
· future options for the commercial zone
· the look and feel of the commercial zone where the village fits in the bigger picture of Te Puna’s development.
Wastewater treatment was a key concern for many business owners due to poor performing existing systems.
Traffic concerns centred on the difficulty of pedestrians getting from one side of the state highway to the other. There is also a need to look at the adequacy of the internal roading, particularly on the Farmlands and BP service station corners.
Views differed on the future growth of the commercial area and the types of activities that could take place. There was demand for further commercial activities that would increase the range of services provided to the local area. This was on the proviso that any expansion is well managed by appropriate planning controls.
Council’s Policy Committee has recommended to hold further discussions with the primary commercial landowners relating to potential expansion opportunities.
Feedback had suggested a central community meeting place is essential and would add to the village’s sense of place.
The committee recommended Council act as a facilitator for community projects centred on creating a village theme and promotion of local arts and culture within the commercial area.
Looking to the future, the committee recommended that a structure plan be formalised for the commercial area, taking into account the matters raised above. The key to any development in the village will be finding a solution to the disposal of wastewater.
The Committee recommended investigating options for wastewater for the Te Puna commercial zone and to investigate options for strengthening District Plan rules relating to future development.
Key stakeholders and the community will be advised on the committee’s recommendations and the next steps to be taken.