After a decade in the making, a future plan for Pokeno was launched this week to signal the way forward for this iconic village to create employment, recreation space, manage the demand for land use and create a variety of residential opportunities through carefully planned growth.
Waikato District Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion said this is a milestone for Pokeno and the Council.
“It is great to see the vision of the Pokeno Landowners Consortium and the Franklin District Council come to fruition. The hard work that was done over the past few years has provided the platform for this project to be advanced.
“This is also a significant milestone for this Council as it will facilitate with more ease and certainty the compact and vibrant form of growth that is anticipated for Pokeno while providing a mix of residential, employment and recreational opportunities to ensure a vibrant 'live, work and play' community,” he said.
Pokeno’s current population of around 500 residents is expected to multiply 12-fold in the next 50 years. The Structure Plan, based on an expected population of around 6,000 and an additional 1,500 dwellings by 2051, provides a vision to manage this growth through new residential business, industrial and recreation zonings. It also introduces a specific zone to recognise the educational attributes of the historic Queen's Redoubt and includes a sports park, indicative walkway systems, neighbourhood centres and reserves. Importantly, such development is expected to integrate with a well-planned and vibrant commercial heart.
The plan recognises Pokeno's strategic location at the intersection of State Highways 1 and 2 and the fact it is conveniently poised to boost the Waikato district economy, through existing road and rail networks in the nation’s population and economic growth area known as the "Golden Triangle" - an area defined by the cities of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
Waikato District Council has already played a major part in making the development within the Structure Plan a reality through its approval of a 96 lot residential subdivision in the Helenslee Block and an industrial subdivision at McDonald Road. Work will commence on a long-awaited reticulated sewerage system this summer.
“We are look forward to engaging with long-time and new residents, and developers who are keen to explore the various development opportunities that are now available and marking further development milestones in the near future,” said Mr Ion.