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Developer eyes up Masterton site for retirement village

With Wairarapa’s over-75 population set to triple by 2051, a housing developer is seeking to build a 9-hectare retirement village north of Masterton.

It would add to the stock of almost 500 retirement village homes in Masterton and Carterton. It is estimated that, by 2051, 1300 village homes would be needed in this area.

Welhom Developments has asked Masterton District Council to rezone about 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 request be publicly notified for submission as a private plan change.

The council decision related only to the application process for a private plan change to rezone land, not the rezoning itself.

About 9ha would be used for a potential retirement village, and the rest would be used for standard residential subdivision 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 metres.

In addition, Welhom Developments has asked for the central area of the retirement village to accommodate a higher building height of up to 14m.

The final form of the site is subject to detailed design, and a timeframe for the construction, should it go ahead, is not known.

The request to rezone the rural land for a retirement village was made in the context of Masterton experiencing strong recent population growth and growth in residential development.

There is a strong anticipated demand for future residential development capacity in the district and notably for the provision of retirement housing.

The Wairarapa Positive Ageing Strategy identified that the number of Wairarapa residents over the age of 65 would increase by 79 per cent to nearly 15,000 residents in the next 20 years.

This will represent one in four Wairarapa residents.

In Masterton and Carterton, there are currently 3690 people aged over 75.

This is projected to grow substantially over the next 30 years to about 11,790.

In its request for a private plan change, Welhom Developments said there would be “significant positive effects for the local community and wider environment”.

“Due to the proximity of the Masterton and Carterton districts, the core market for a residential property at the site spans across both districts.

“The request will provide more choice for Masterton and Carterton residents when choosing their living environment.

“If a retirement village is developed, this will give elderly residents the opportunity to stay in the district they know as home and remain connected to their families and communities.”

An economics assessment by Property Economics said the request would also positively affect the competitive operation 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 northern Masterton site as a potential area for future urban growth. – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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