The proposal to create a piazza-style village square in Tamahere will soon be pitched to residents but its reality is years away.
Waikato District councillors this week adopted a report detailing future needs of the Tamahere community, reports the Waikato Times.
The report recommends closing Newell Rd, regarded as a popular “rat run” to Hamilton Airport, at its southern intersection as well as establishing a boutique business zone of about four to six shops.
The roading proposal requires NZ Transport Agency input, with actual work at least three years away. But Tamahere ward councillor Wally Hayes said councillors’ support of the recommendations was a “milestone” for Tamahere, the Times reported.
The roading proposal effectively rerouted Newell Rd to “get rid of all traffic that don’t live there” and opened up council-owned land backing on to Tamahere School.
Mr Hayes said there were two options for a small business zone of four to six shops. “The vision is for a central piazza concept. It will be a central community focus area or a village square where the shops wouldn’t face the road.
“Because it’s not going to be on a busy road the goal is to make it a destination like the Tamahere market. People come from all over for that market.
“Council have ticked it off as their recommended direction and now staff will go away and get it ready for notification.”
Mr Hayes said any commercial development would need to be controlled, adding the current “piazza-style vision” was nothing like a 2007 proposal by developers Newell Holdings to build a supermarket, department store and about 50 shops.
The council’s recommendations will be presented to the public in October and a submissions hearing scheduled for March or April next year.