The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has joined Tauranga in agreeing to include Bob Clarkson's proposed 2000-lot housing development at Tauriko into the SmartGrowth review.
The breakthrough for the former Tauranga MP means both councils have agreed to evaluate his proposal to rezone 200ha of rural land between the Wairoa River and State Highway 29.
SmartGrowth is a collaborative planning process that sets out where urban growth will occur in the Western Bay for the next 40 years.
Mr Clarkson's Tauriko land fell inside the boundaries of both the city and district councils. He proposes a mixture of affordable and more expensive housing.
Western Bay Mayor Ross Paterson said SmartGrowth was being reviewed over the next 18 months and Mr Clarkson had the option of going through a private planning change process.
The district council refused Mr Clarkson's request for the council to spend $35,000 to look at the opportunities for housing and development in the District Plan for his Tauriko land. If the council had responded positively to that, Mr Clarkson had asked that the council spend an additional $51,000 to initiate a planning variation to rezone his land.
"There was no reason why Western Bay ratepayers should be subsidising Bob's plans for a housing development at Tauriko." Mr Paterson said.