Murphy’s Orchard which will be developed into a retirement village. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

Community consultation has begun on a proposed retirement village for Greytown.

Developer Craig Percy said the first step would be engaging with residents neighbouring Murphy’s Orchard on Reading St. Murphy’s was one of the few remaining orchards still operating in the town.

Percy said the wider community would then be consulted.

Consideration would be given to what locals “feel is important” when drawing up the village plans.

“If people have needs, we want to understand what those needs are.”

The project would be a joint venture between the Tumu group and Percy.

Percy has 20 years’ experience in developing and operating retirement communities, so he had a “pretty good idea” what it would look like.

But it was important to include some of the “social fabric” in the design process, he said.

The Wairarapa District Health Board, local iwi, and the South Wairarapa District Council would also be consulted.

Architects for the project are now being selected and would be engaged in the coming months.

Percy said jobs in nursing, cleaning and management positions would be created, and the project would have a “flow-on effect” benefiting Greytown with the many development employees frequenting the businesses.

It was not yet known if the proposal would be publicly notified so public submissions could be made.

South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier said the council would have to receive the application for resource content before it could determine if it would be publicly notified.

She said the applicant could request it to be publicly notified under the Resource Management Act.

Percy said one of the biggest issues that a retirement village helped solve was social isolation.

“It’s that whole sense of a community that we create that people become a part of.”

He said people could provide online feedback through www.theorchardsatgreytown.co.nz