A substantial block of greenfield residential development land located just outside the current urban boundary of the fast-expanding township of Thames has been placed on the market for sale.
The 11.37-hectare block in the small Hauraki Plains settlement of Turua is located a mere seven kilometres from the outskirts Thames at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula. Over the past decade, most of Thames’ industrial property growth has been centred on the suburb of Kopu on the town’s southern urban boundary. Being just a short distance further away from the Thames central business district, Turua offers a cost-effective alternative location for developing new housing in a rural environment.
While Turua sits within the local body jurisdiction of the Hauraki District Council, the settlement and land for sale at 128 Piako Road is literally on the physical border with the Thames Coromandel District Council boundary, and with Thames 13 kilometres away to town.
Turua currently has a population of approximately 440 people, served by rudimentary retail operations such as a dairy and takeaways shop, two early learning centres, a primary school, and a volunteer fire brigade station.
Thames-Coromandel District Council’s spatial plan highlights that the town’s new build accommodation pool is struggling to keep pace with the area’s booming population. Thames currently has a population of approximately 8,000 residents.
“Families are finding it hard to find homes in Thames due to the low supply of new homes,” said the council’s long-term planning report.
“Thames is the economic powerhouse of the Coromandel, but our businesses cannot recruit workers due to a lack of housing. Some 46 percent of our district’s jobs are in Thames, but only 36 percent of the population. Well-paying jobs are going unfilled, and employees are commuting from Hamilton, Paeroa, Huntly and surrounding towns.”
Similarly, Hauraki District Council’s Long-Term Plan 2021 – 2031 notes that “From 2021 to 2031 we expect population growth to be spread across the district.”
“Under the medium growth scenario, it is projected our population will reach 22,750 by 2031. That is an increase of 1,226 people, or a population increase of 5.6 percent over the ten-year period of this plan. The average annual increase is 165 people or 0.5% growth per annum. Growth will continue to be driven predominantly by net migration (people moving into the district).
“In the longer term, 2031 – 2051, we (the council) have undertaken our infrastructure planning based on a high growth scenario, because we believe people from other areas in New Zealand will continue to move to our district and international net migration will recover. We do not want to underinvest in our infrastructure. We need to be able to readily cater for this growth.”
In a move aimed at addressing housing issues in both Thames and across the Hauraki Plains, the 11.37-hectare property at 128 Piako Road in Turua is now being marketed for sale by auction on October 26 through Bayleys Ngatea. Salesperson Josh Smith said strong population data from both local bodies underpinned the huge potential which could be unlocked from converting the flat and well-defined site from farmland into a residential enclave capable of sustaining scores of new dwellings.
“Subject to council consents and the section configurations which could emanate from a planned residential development on the site, the homes which could be built on this property have the potential to increase Turua’s population by at least 30 percent,” he said.
“Turua offers a ‘visionary’ alternative for someone to develop new housing for Thames. It is highly encouraging that the Thames Coromandel District Council’s spatial plan had clearly identified the need for more housing at scale in and around Thames and had simultaneously come up with a solution – freeing up the opportunity to strategically convert farmland into residential enclaves based on a high degree of planning and forethought. While Turua sits just outside its jurisdiction, the sentiment is extremely pertinent because of the proximity to the township.
“While Turua physically sits within the jurisdiction of the Hauraki District Council, its nearest large population centre is Thames which sits within the jurisdiction of the Thames Coromandel District Council.
“The land is situated on the edge of Turua’s existing residential component, and overlooks tranquil rural farmland – meaning the location could be developed along the lines of a lifestyle subdivision with bigger sections which would in due course bring a totally new offering to the locale’s property market. Under this dynamic there is the option for creating a dozen or so larger sections in what could be a very exclusive living enclave.
“The potential for this site is limitless.”