Developer eyes Masterton site for retirement village
With Wairarapa’s over-75 population expected to triple by 2051, a property developer is looking to build a 9-hectare retirement village north of Masterton.
This would add to the stock of almost 500 retirement village homes in Masterton and Carterton. It is estimated that by 2051, 1300 village houses would be needed in this area.
Welhom Developments has applied to Masterton District Council to rezone approximately 15 hectares of rural land near the Cashmere Oaks subdivision to build the village.
The site is currently used for pastoral grazing.
At a Masterton District Council meeting this week, elected members agreed that the application be given public notice to be submitted as a private plan amendment.
The council’s decision only concerned the process of applying for a private plan change to rezone land, not the rezoning itself.
About 9 ha would be used for a potential retirement village, and the rest would be used for a standard residential housing estate and development, Welhom Development’s application said.
A total of 254 houses could be built on the site, with a mix of one- and two-storey buildings with a maximum height of 10 meters.
Additionally, Welhom Developments requested that the core area of the retirement village be able to accommodate a taller building height of up to 14m.
The final shape of the site is subject to detailed design, and a timetable for construction, if it were to go ahead, is not known.
The request to rezon the rural land for a retirement village was made against the backdrop of Masterton which is experiencing recent high population growth and growth in residential development.
There is a strong anticipated demand for future residential development capacity in the area and in particular for the provision of housing for the elderly.
The Wairarapa Positive Aging Strategy identified that the number of Wairarapa residents over the age of 65 would increase by 79% to nearly 15,000 residents over the next 20 years.
This will represent one in four inhabitants of Wairarapa.
In Masterton and Carterton there are currently 3,690 people over the age of 75.
This figure is expected to increase significantly over the next 30 years to approximately 11,790.
In its private plan change application, Welhom Developments said there would be “significant positive effects for the local community and the wider environment”.
“Due to the proximity of the districts of Masterton and Carterton, the primary market for residential property on the site spans both districts.
“The application will provide residents of Masterton and Carterton with more choices when choosing where to live.
“If a retirement village is developed, it will give older residents the opportunity to stay in the neighborhood they know as home and stay in touch with their families and communities.”
An economic assessment by Property Economics said the demand would also positively impact the competitive functioning of the local development market and housing affordability for residents by increasing the availability of supply.
The Masterton Urban Growth Strategy had also identified the North Site of Masterton as a potential area for future urban growth. – NZLDR
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