Kawerau land exchange for development
7 August 2017
KAWERAU District Council is moving forward with plans to revitalise the town through residential development.
At an extraordinary meeting yesterday, councillors agreed to notify the community of their intention to exchange the 2408 square metre Te Ariki Place Reserve for a 1391 square metre plot of council-owned land at Glasgow Street.
Policy analyst and strategic planner Sandra Haines said the idea of residential development was consulted on as part of the 2017-2018 annual plan process and received widespread community support.
“To keep pace with the increasing demand for residential property in Kawerau, the council has been exploring opportunities to make additional land available for residential development.”
Staff had obtained legal advice confirming it is possible under the Reserves Act for the council to conduct an internal exchange of land classified as a recreation reserve for a parcel it owns in private ownership.
Te Ariki Place Reserve is zoned residential, consistent with its intended use.
The Glasgow Street land once contained a skating rink and is surrounded by land used for recreation.
“There is very little likelihood that it would ever be suitable for anything other than a reserve.”
Part of the exchange process involves the council publicly notifying its intention, which it will do via letter.
A month is allowed for objections to be lodged.
Mrs Haines said authorisation was contingent upon whether any objections were received.
The council had received community support for residential development as a general concept rather than specifically for the two land spaces. She predicted there might be some objection.
If there was no objection, the exchange could be finalised and the Department of Conservation notified to provide authorisation.
Freehold title could then be raised and the former reserve would become fee simple and the privately-owned parcel would be the reserve.
“Council can then subdivide and sell the Te Ariki Place land as residential development.”
If successful, the outcome would be that the council has made additional residential land available for the continued development of the Kawerau community.
Source: Whakatane Beacon