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Summerset, Auckland Council reach compromise on Hobsonville village

Tuesday 5th November 2013

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Summerset Group says it has reached a compromise with Auckland Council over the company's proposed $120 million retirement village in Hobsonville, north of Auckland, after the original design was vetoed by the council in February.

Wellington-based Summerset, which had appealed to council's decision to the Environment Court, said it has worked with the council over the past few months to reach agreement on an amended design for the 7.6 hectare village which is to house 350 residents.

The amended design "met both the needs of Auckland Council's vision for the area and Summerset's retirement village proposals," chief executive Norah Barlow said in a statement. "This was successfully concluded in October with all previous appellants withdrawing and the Environment Court supporting the agreed proposal."

The Environment Court agreed to the compromise and construction on the first stage of the village, including townhouses and villas, would begin shortly, she said.

Summerset shares rose 0.9 percent to $3.28 and have advanced 45 percent this year as investors continued to warm to the retirement village sector. Larger rival Ryman Healthcare has gained 67 percent this year and Metlifecare is up 31 percent.

Hobsonville is Summerset's third Auckland village after Manukau, completed in 2012, and Warkworth, which is nearing completion, the company said. It has consent for a village at Karaka and has an application in for a $150 million, 4 hectare site at Ellerslie.

Barlow said she doesn't expect a decision on Ellerslie until the New Year. While smaller in land than Hobsonville, it does involve multi-story construction, which is more expensive.

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