The Whakatāne District Council has adopted a recommendation that its Piripai landholding be placed on the market in November.

A report updating the sale procedure received at Thursday’s full Council meeting confirmed the selection of Colliers International to undertake an extensive marketing process. This will involve identifying potential buyers whose proposals for the land align with the Council’s vision for the development of a retirement lifestyle village, residential subdivision and other complementary development.

Colliers’ selection followed a thorough process undertaken on the Council’s behalf by The Property Group, which saw the five marketing proposals received from real estate agencies analysed and ranked, with the final decision based on an interview process.

Colliers will undertake a two-stage tender process, which will see the Council’s 77 Bunyan Road property placed on the market in early November, with interested parties asked to provide expressions of interest for review before Christmas. Detailed analysis and negotiations would then be undertaken to identify a preferred developer, or developers, in the first quarter of 2017.

The report also noted that efforts to develop a management plan for the buffer between the land set aside for development and the Opihi Whanaungakore Urupa to the west are continuing. The buffer was identified in the structure plan set out in the Proposed District Plan, and was confirmed through an Environment Court ruling earlier this year. This requires the development of a management plan for the buffer, in consultation with Te Rūnanga of Ngāti Awa and the Opihi Whanaungakore trustees, to protect the culturally-sensitive Urupa from the effects of development.

An ecological assessment of the Piripai block has identified vegetation types and areas of ecological value, and the information provided will assist the development of the Urupa buffer management plan. A consultant has also been appointed to assist the management plan consultation process.

Progress on the sales process and the development of the Urupa buffer management plan will be reported back to the incoming Council, following next month’s local government elections.

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