Coast’s biggest retirement village gets green light

Work will begin this year on the largest retirement village ever to be built on the Hibiscus Coast.

A retirement village proposed for Silverdale obtained resource consent at the end of last month, despite Auckland Council opposition.

The village, named The Botanic (HM May 20) will fill an 8ha site near the park and ride on Small Road and, with 501 units, has the potential for 900 residents – almost twice as many as the current biggest village on the Coast.

The Botanic co-owner Alan Edwards says the consent was granted by independent commissioners with almost no changes to the application.

This is despite Auckland Council planners’ recommendation that consent be refused. Council opposed the proposal on a number of counts including effects on the environment, as well as traffic and economic effects.

The decision states that traffic and transportation issues were resolved “due to an amendment in relation to the intersection of East Coast Road and Hibiscus Coast Highway and the proposed Spine Road that traverses the village site”.

Mr Edwards says there will be one carpark per villa and at least one for every apartment, as well as visitor parking – providing for more than 500 cars.

The site is zoned General Business and key to Council’s opposition was that building a retirement village would mean the loss of more business-zoned land – a large amount of which has already been re-zoned residential, particularly in Silverdale.

Council zoned the land for business to provide local employment opportunities, reducing the need for commuting, with a flow on impact on traffic.

However, the commissioners rejected Council’s argument saying that the effects on the local economy would be minor.

As well as 442 apartments, 59 villas and 49 aged care beds, the village includes a childcare centre catering for 100 children, a commercial space on Small Road, and facilities such as a bowling green, clubhouse and pool. The tallest building is the five-storey main community centre. Most apartments are four levels.

Mr Edwards says the name The Botanic is about the desire to “let nature in”. Plants on the riparian margins on both sides of a stream through the site will be maintained “as much as possible”, while other existing vegetation will be removed. Mr Edwards says new plantings will provide green spaces.

He says it is hoped that earthworks can begin this year with construction to commence in the first quarter of next year. The plan is for the first residents to be able to move in around the second quarter of next year.

Linked here is the full resource consent decision.

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