Orchard plans blossoming

An artist impression of the proposed retirement community, The Orchards, in Greytown. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

The planned Orchards retirement village in Greytown is one step closer to reality with the resource consent now lodged with South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC].

Murphy’s Orchard, one of the few remaining orchards left in Greytown, was sold last year to developer Craig Percy, who wants to develop the site into a high-end retirement community in a joint venture partnership with Tumu Group.

The plan is for 180 villas, ranging in size from 85m2 to 200m2, and at least 120 care beds within a rest home, hospital, and dementia care facility.

Percy said the community would be built in four stages, over seven to 10 years, with full construction beginning in 2020, all going to plan.

Stage one would include 50 villas, communal facilities and a wellbeing centre, including a gym and pool.

Percy said it was too soon to say how much a place in the village would cost.

The 13.8ha of land is within five minutes walking distance of Greytown’s town centre, with the main access points on Reading St and Market Rd.

A total of 700 orchard trees would be preserved to retain the characteristics of the site’s long-standing history.

Percy anticipates the consent will be publicly notified and for a hearing to take place in late June.

He said he wanted the project to be as transparent as possible.

One of the main issues to come out of the public consultation process was concern that the larger buildings proposed were two-storey.

Percy said the plans had since been changed to make all buildings single storey, and the village was now set back further from the boundary so it didn’t “impose so much on the neighbours”.

“We think it’s important that the wider community has its say, and we are very aware of the change it will bring to Greytown.”

He said The Orchards would be positive for the entire South Wairarapa district, which had limited aged care facilities.

He said the proposal would attract many new residents to Greytown, and free up family homes.

“And we’ll be a large employer as we’ll be creating over 100 fulltime equivalent jobs – they’re all pretty significant benefits.”

Community gardens, shared green spaces, children’s playgrounds, pedestrian and cycle paths, seating, barbeque areas, and a year-round bowling green are also proposed.

Percy hopes to have a show villa on site around spring.

He said the overall feedback to date had been positive.

Design plans for The Orchards can be found online at: theorchardsatgreytown.co.nz

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