An unexpected half million dollar savings on the $7.7million Parau Farms development in Bethlehem is being offered to Tauranga City Council.
During the Ten Year Plan submissions process this week Harrison Grierson Bay of Plenty manager John Collie presented an alternative access plan on behalf of client Land House Ltd to the development on the southern side of State Highway Two that could save the council $500,000 in earthworks.
The Land House proposal.
Planned access to the former kiwifruit orchard land, Parau Farms, from Parau Drive, the yet to be built extension from the southern side of the ‘Z’ petrol station roundabout.
Council’s present plans are for the new road to parallel SH2 across private land, which it was revealed this week the present owners are resisting.
John’s says the offer solves access issues and also makes the road into the planned playing fields development cheaper to construct. It also provides access for Land House Ltd’s land in the gully bordered by Moffat Road and SH2.
Land House Ltd’s current access is by a right of way from Taniwha Place.
John says by establishing the main access via Parau Road it will take pressure off the notorious Taniwha Place intersection with SH2.
The Council plan involves access from the western side by putting Paurau Drive through Land House and Landau properties parallel to the highway and then turning south along the western ridge.
John says it’s more challenging and there may be cultural and historical issues as it is the stand out ridge in the area, and it is just across the highway from the Ngati Kahu marae.
“If you want to start hacking into that, the least you will have to do is talk to those guys.
“All we are trying to do is get the councillors to say to their staff, work with Land House to see what we can achieve in terms of an integrated development that will save us money.
“We have had a bit of trouble getting that message through. That’s why we have made an annual plan submission on it.”
Earlier in the year a council report was prepared and discussed in confidence. Land House was not told of the report contents or the discussion.
“The feedback was the status quo was going ahead which is as per the structure plan, which was across the Lamp House properties and the Landau properties into the northern end.
“If they were going to have a centrally located facility it still leaves the council with about 400 metres of road to build to get down from the northern end to the middle of the site.
The council has budgeted $1.4 million to build the road from the current end of Parau Drive and across to the far side of the Lauder property.
If Land House could spend the money on the eastern alignment they could also shape the fields and use the material on the roads.
“There are potential for wins on several fronts,” says John.
Land House is currently working through an appeal on the rezoning of its land. He’s pretty confident they will get the re-zoning, says John.
“If for some reason it didn’t get there, council would be back to square one. If land house can’t develop, there are no merits in fronting up for their share of that road.”
Mayor Stuart Crosby says council is aware of some issues there but it was directed by the Environment Court to hold the earlier discussion in confidential.
Parau Farms is expected to cost a total of $7.725 million. At present the main construction efforts are expected to take place over the three financial years from 20016/17 to 2018/19.