Growth in the northern reaches of the Waikato District shows no signs of abating as building consent applications flood into the council mailbox.

Applications to Waikato District Council have reached unprecedented levels, with development in Pokeno including a $220 million Chinese-developed Yashili baby formula factory, the Gateway business park, and a 400-hectare residential village driving the increase.


Mayor Allan Sanson was on a bus tour to study growth in the district's northern quadrant when Waikato Times called.


He said he was under pressure to get all applications assessed in time, but things were "definitely looking up".


"It's unprecedented growth," he said. "We've got a problem, I would say it's a headache, but it is one we are happy to have because it is growth related."


The council received 72 resource consent applications in October and 71 in November - up from the average of 57 in the previous 12 months.


LIM applications were also well above the monthly average of 39, with 131 in October and 152 in November.


LIM reports hold information on a property's rates, consents, and licences and are used if people are planning to buy, sell, or develop a home.


The sheer number of consents had council staff working "exceptionally hard" to meet timeframes.

"The consent numbers are all growth related, along with a bit of business as usual, but it has put our organisation under immense stress at the moment."


Sanson said the northern development was only part of the growth.


"Places like Tamahere are rocketing at the moment, as are other parts as well, but a lot of it hinges from the northern part," he said.


Hamilton East MP David Bennett said the number of applications showed the value of investment in the Waikato Expressway to open the region to Auckland's boom.


"It's all been part of that plan, the expressway was the first part with the direct link between Auckland and Hamilton," said Bennett.


elton.smallman@fairfaxmedia.co.nz


Waikato Times

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