Growing Hamilton

Peacocke strikes balance between housing and the environment

An artist impression of a future Peacocke street, balancing the natural environment with higher density housing.

The detail which underpins Hamilton’s newest neighbourhood, co-designed by the community, with the environment at its heart and delivering future-proofed transport networks, is ready for public review.

Today (Thursday 12 August), Hamilton City Council approved a revised Peacocke Structure Plan for public notification starting next month. The Plan seeks to strike a balance between opening Peacocke for housing development and ensuring the protection of the natural environment.

The plan sets out how the Peacocke area will be developed; guiding housing style and density, transport connections and community spaces, as well as determining how the area’s cultural heritage and natural environment will be protected.

Strategic Growth Committee Chair Councillor Dave Macpherson said Peacocke is unique as Council has taken a holistic approach to developing a new community for the first time.

“Our Council was clear from the outset that we wanted to develop Peacocke as a leading-edge neighbourhood with a focus on accessibility and connectivity delivered through the transport network, housing choice, green space and ecological protection.”

“Crucially, by identifying significant natural areas, buffer zones and ecological corridors in the Plan we’re providing significant protection for our native flora and fauna, in particular the long-tailed bat,” said Cr Macpherson.

“The consideration of all these factors will not only deliver much-needed housing for our city but will also help create a community where Hamiltonians want to live.”

The Plan will also help optimise the Government’s $290.4 million Housing Infrastructure Fund investment in Peacocke to provide more housing in Hamilton.

It allows for a mixture of medium density housing, with high density housing in the right areas in a walkable distance from our day-to-day needs like schools, shops and public transport. The density requirements are underpinned by strong urban design requirements to achieve a variety of attractive and well-functioning housing types.

However, it’s the shift towards encouraging different types of transport that Councillor Macpherson is most proud of.

“Traditionally we’ve tried to retrofit our roads to cater for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists after the fact. With Peacocke, we’ve really focussed on getting it right the first time and putting these facilities at the heart of our planning. This includes a new bridge over the Waikato River that caters to all modes of transport, connecting Peacocke to Hillcrest right from the start.

“The result is a well-planned, connected neighbourhood that takes a 20-minute city approach.”

The Plan also allows for a main local centre, smaller neighbourhood centres to meet day-to-day needs, as well as an open space network of parks, sports parks and other community facilities, all easily accessed by a range of transport modes.

Once notified, public feedback will be considered by a panel of independent hearing commissioners who will also make any decisions to adopt the Peacocke Structure Plan on behalf of Council.

It’s planned to be operative when key infrastructure is expected to be completed in 2024.

Peacocke is being built with the support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, made up of a $180.3M 10-year interest-free loan and $110.1M of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
The Peacocke programme will deliver a new bridge, a transport network that caters for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, parks, and strategic water, wastewater and stormwater networks. Other work includes protecting and enhancing the environment, including the extensive gully system, opening the area to the Waikato River, and investigating community facilities which are also important parts of creating a new community in Peacocke.

When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.

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