Developers are hoping the Central Otago District Council will decide an urgent need for retirement homes is enough to make a change to rural zoning.

A council hearings panel meeting today will discuss an application for a plan change that could result in the development of a $200 million retirement village in Clyde.

Patrick Houlahan and Mark Laing own about 12ha of adjoining land on the corner of State Highway 8 and Sunderland St.

They will be asking at the closed session to change the zoning of land on that corner from a rural resource area to residential resource area.

The proposed development includes 164 retirement homes, an 80-bed dementia care unit and a subdivision of 36 sections.

Mr Houlahan said if a zoning change was approved, the project could bring about $200 million of development to Clyde, creating jobs as well as providing a much-needed retirement solution.

‘‘It is just what’s required. You talk to the real estate agents, you talk to the community, they are all screaming out for this.’’

One of the aims was finding a solution to avoid separating families, he said.

‘‘We are sick to death of hearing the stories of people’s parents who are having to be shifted down to Invercargill, Oamaru or Dunedin.’’

He had experienced this in his own family.

‘‘I’ve got a mother in a home up in Geraldine, and all the family are just so far away from her.’’

Paterson Pitts Group senior planner Peter Dymock, of Alexandra, was working on the project and said the proposed development was a golden opportunity, but it all depended on the council allowing a change to the zoning.

‘‘We have to have the plan change first — we can’t do this on its current zoning.’’

The project was planned to be a joint venture with HPA Group who developed the Golden View Lifestyle Village in Cromwell, which had a waiting list of about 100, Mr Dymock said.

Having a retirement village plus a dementia care unit across the road from Dunstan Hospital meant there could not be a better site for the project.

‘‘This is the most realistic option on the horizon for something the community has been crying out for, for years.’’ he said.


Bold proposal . . . A proposed plan for Clyde includes retirement homes, on-site care and a subdivision.
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