Hawera Town Centre Development Plan Gets Green Light
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
On Monday (16 December) the South Taranaki District Council (STDC) agreed to allocate up to $100,000 towards the design of a Town Centre Development Plan for Hawera. Bizlink Hawera, a key group lobbying for this project have also agreed to contribute up to $30,000 towards the development plan.
The Hawera Town Centre Development Plan is one of two key projects that make up part of the Councils Economic Development Strategy which was also approved at the Council meeting.
South Taranaki Mayor, Ross Dunlop says Council and Bizlink have demonstrated leadership in providing funding for the design stage of the Plan.
“Population growth and attractiveness of town centres are closely linked. The Hawera Town Centre Development Plan will provide real potential to build a vibrant and economically sustainable town centre that is a showcase to attract new residents, business and visitors,” says Mr Dunlop. “The Hawera Town Centre Development Plan will also be a model for planning future upgrades in our smaller communities in South Taranaki,” he says.
Chairman of Bizlink Hawera, Andy Beccard says Hawera’s current town centre is simply not meeting the needs of retailers or residents.
“ It was essentially developed over 100 years ago and our community’s social and retail needs have changed considerably over that time. This has been exacerbated by the growing trend in online retail. The Hawera Town Centre Development Plan will provide an opportunity to develop an urban centre we can be proud of for years to come. It will provide a big injection of confidence into our retail and service centre and will also give property owners confidence to reinvest in the town,” says Mr Beccard.
Mayor Dunlop says this is just the first step in the process. “From last night’s decision the Council will engage experts in the field of urban planning and design. Over the next few months those experts will spend time researching, gathering information and engaging with the community and key stakeholders. We hope to see a final Plan sometime around October 2014. It’s important we take time to get the engagement stage right because the final Plan will need the ‘buy in’ of the business community, developers and our residents for it to succeed,” he says.