One of Tauranga’s development agencies is getting updated to ensure it remains an effective blueprint for managing the future of the Western Bay of Plenty.
SmartGrowth is currently seeking submissions from all sectors of the community to develop a long-term vision for the Bay.
Bill Wasley Independent Chair says the revised strategy will address the long term provision of industrial, or business land and some residential land through to 2040.
“We’re looking at areas and issues around housing density in respect to greenfield sites, or new areas where there has not been any significant development. That land may be in rural type use, so it is areas where development has not occurred,” says Bill.
The SmartGrowth review will also encompass what kind of employment opportunities are required to grow the Western Bay of Plenty economy, what infrastructure is required and what may be required to attract business development.
There will be a number of community and business engagement meetings between now and October highlighting achievements to date and getting feedback before going out for consultation in the New Year.
“It is intended that we have a final strategy around June or July 2013,” says Bill.
“The impact of the economic downturn and the need to update the information that forms the basis of the Smart Growth strategy means that the time is right for this update, so that we can meet the existing and future needs of western Bay communities,” says Bill.
“Until the end of October 2012, we will meet with and invite community and sector groups and individuals to tell us what they think about the Smart Growth visions and key issues facing the sub-region. We’ll then update the strategy and present the draft back to the community for submissions in 2013,” says Bill.
“The combined effect of the three councils, tangata whenua, community groups, businesses, government agencies and various organisations working together on agreed, common goals means increased benefits for the western Bay.
“By implementing strategy actions and taking a partnership approach to issues and opportunities, Smart Growth can help achieve stronger outcomes for the community than by the various parties working separately,” says Bill.
“Working together for the western Bay has resulted in substantial funding for Tauranga Eastern Link, development and implementation of the tertiary education partnership between University of Waikato, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te AwanuiÄrangi. The Smart Growth strategy is also helped to establish the Intercoast - a coastal research centre and the PapakÄinga housing toolkit for housing on MÄori land.
Bill also says the setting up of a clinical education school by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board is part of Smart Groups success as is crown investment in new and existing schools, integrated development at ÅŒmokoroa and the protection of versatile soils for horticulture and agriculture.
Other achievements include the provision of additional industrial land in the area and reduced costs for councils.
“We’ve formed an effective partnership to engage with government and others and to advocate on behalf of the western Bay of Plenty,” says Bill.