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HASTINGS POPULATION: Planners, engineers in demand

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  • HASTINGS POPULATION: Planners, engineers in demand

    HASTINGS POPULATION: Planners, engineers in demand

    Planners and engineers are in demand as Hastings' population and housing growth continues its upward trend.

    The latest results from the 2006 Census said the Hastings district recorded a 5.3 percent population increase - 3640 more people had moved into Hastings since the last Census figures were released in 2001.

    The total population for the district was 72,400, compared to 68,757 recorded in 2001 and 66,684 in 1996.

    The number of dwellings also increased by 4.9 percent, producing a total of 1190 more houses in the district over the past five years.

    These figures reflect the high number of resource consent applications the Hastings District Council has processed over the past three years.

    Hastings district Mayor, Lawrence Yule, said there had been a flurry of resource consent applications during the past couple of months.
    "We've had a significant number ... some of them have come in because we're reviewing the developer fees, so they may be trying to get in before the fees are changed," Mayor Yule said.

    "There are a lot of developments happening (in the Hastings district) ... we are one of the few regions that are still growing, which is fantastic," he said.

    The council's environmental manager, Ian Macdonald, said the past three years had been a busy time for the council's planners and engineers considering resource consent applications.

    In 2004 the council processed 636 applications and in 2005 the figure increased to 700. Already this year that number has been exceeded and the council has received 777 applications for the district.

    "There is a trend for lifestyle subdivisions ... but we've also seen more applications for industrial and commercial activity as well," Mr Macdonald said.

    He said farm park subdivisions in the country, which include a combination of lifestyle blocks and farming areas, also proved popular.

    "It's a lifestyle development where a block of land about 100 to 200 hectares can be subdivided to include 20 to 30 housing lots - but the balance area is put into farming," Mr Macdonald said.

    He said processing the increasing amount of resource consent applications had meant the council would have to look for more staff, especially planners and engineers.

    "We have been outsourcing some of the work to contractors around town for the last 12 months," he said.

    "We have yet to see the predicted downturn - so far all the predictions of when that downturn will be has been off the mark," Mr Macdonald said.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx