Green light for Amberfield development in Hamilton's south

Green light for Amberfield development in Hamilton's south

18 October 2021

The go button has been pushed on a 1000-plus home development in Hamilton’s south.

In a much-anticipated ruling, the Environment Court has granted resource consent to the Amberfield development in Peacocke – an area earmarked to soak up a lot of the city’s growth in coming decades.

And city leaders have embraced the ruling, saying the 109 hectare project will not only help address Hamilton’s chronic housing shortage but also rejuvenate nearby suburbs.

Amberfield is being developed by Weston Lea Developments which plans to start on-site construction works in late 2022. The first houses are expected to be completed by late 2024.

Weston Lea Developments spokesman Steve Bond said the company’s resource consent allows it to develop 833 lots. However, Hamilton City Council’s upcoming plan change 5 is expected to enable more medium density housing to be built across Peacocke – such as terraced housing and low-rise apartments.

“Over time, we anticipate that a high proportion of medium density outcomes will be delivered and that will take the overall number [of homes] well over a 1000,” Bond said.

Amberfield will consist of four neighbourhoods, although it's unlikely the areas will be given separate names. Development will start in Amberfield’s northern neighbourhood and its completion is timed to coincide with the opening of the new traffic bridge over the Waikato River.

The river bridge will connect Peacocke to Hamilton East.

Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said Amberfield will play a vital role in helping increase the city’s housing stock.

“To me, it’s critical that we get as many houses built as quickly as possible. This is the green light ... it’s great,” Southgate said.

“I hope it reinvigorates some of the existing communities there too, so they have access to nice new places, and new amenities, new playgrounds, parks.”

Amberfield’s central neighbourhood will feature a town centre and will include some high density housing. A supermarket will anchor the town centre.

Bond said the development will feature a range of dwellings, with terraced houses sitting on sections of about 200 sqm. Section sizes for stand-alone houses will start at 350 sqm, while larger sections will be located around the river’s edge.

Detailed pricing has yet to be confirmed, but Bond said house and land packages and sections will be offered.

“We intend to provide a range of housing typology ... and hopefully there will be a range of price points to provide opportunities to a wide section of the market as well,” Bond said.

Independent commissioners had earlier given the go-ahead to Amberfield, but several conditions contained in the ruling were challenged by Weston Lea Developments and the Department of Conservation for differing reasons.

Bond said targeted ecological measures have been agreed to, which will protect the native long-tailed bat, including a ban on domestic cats. A “considerable number” of predator-proof roost boxes will also be constructed across Amberfield.

The 109ha development will feature 33.7ha of open spaces that include a connected network of parks and reserves, and cycling and walking trails.

“That reserve network will provide an ecological function, providing habitat and movement corridors for the bat. In addition to that, we’ve introduced bat-sensitive design measures, for example directional street lighting and roadside planting to help screen residential and street lighting and car headlights from bat habitats.”

While waiting for the court decision, Bond said Weston Lea Developments has planted 45,000 trees along the river margin in order to get a “head start” on protecting and enhancing the corridor.

Hamilton City Council expects to complete the Waikato River bridge, new roads and wastewater connections to service Peacocke by mid-2023.

Weston Lea Developments lodged its initial resource consent application in May 2018. “It’s almost taken 3 ½ years to gain consent, so it’s certainly a big step forward,” Bond said. “It’s great news for us, and it’s great news for Hamilton. New homes are badly needed in the city to both cater for and to enable its growth.”

About 20,000-plus residents are expected to call Peacocke home by 2048.

For more information, please go to the Stuff article here.

Neighbourhood Centre
A town centre will be built in the heart of Amberfield.

Register your interest now

Please complete the form below for regular updates

My Location
Interested in
* Mandatory Fields