Tauranga City Council is sending an ultimatum to the government over the stalled Tauranga Northern Link Highway - no highway, no special housing area at Smith’s Farm.
“If we don’t get the Northern Link, we will just leave the housing area,” says Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless.
“We will just leave the housing area in abeyance until such time as the government takes its responsibilities here seriously.”
Smith’s Farm is vacant land with access off Cambridge Road currently via Westridge Drive.
The housing area will be accessed off a realigned and expanded Richards Way.
The 6.8km TNL project from Te Puna to Takitimu Drive passes right past the Smith’s Farm site. It was originally expected to be completed in 2021, but is now stalled.
In 2016 the city council decided to wait until the TNL was planned, along with the access, before going ahead with the sub-division.
NZTA advised council in 2016 it was prepared to pay about 20 per cent of the cost of building a local access road for Smiths Farm if the St Andrews Drive alignment was chosen.
Based on the most recent $6m cost estimate, this would be a contribution of approximately $1.2m.
Planning staff told the city Transformation Committee this week NZTA is ‘rescoping’ the TNL, and workshops are expected with council staff over the next couple of weeks.
NZTA was open to looking at making the access a stand-alone project that occurs ahead of the delivery of the TNL.
“Progression of the northern link is absolutely essential to us progressing the housing area to help the government out,” says Greg. “So I would take a fairly strong stance on that.”
SunLive last reported on the Smith's Farm access in January this year when councillors learned the land may no longer be required for housing, but for sports fields. The access would be under the TNL.