This article is part of the Regional Hotspots report. To find out more about the report and other hotspots, click here
- Population growth 2013-2023: 20% (1,080 people)
- The SH3 bypass of Bell Block and the extension of the Coastal Walkway has been a catalyst for growth in Bell Block.
- Reasonably affordable costal housing, growing business activity in the industrial areas near the town and Bell Block’s proximity to the Valley Mega Centre make the area attractive.
- Continued population growth and demand for housing will feed through into further expansion of retail facilities and social infrastructure.
The construction and opening of the State Highway 3 bypass of Bell Block in 2010 has proven to be something of a catalyst for a change in the township. The diversion of through traffic has helped Bell Block develop into more of a self-contained community. And with the extension of the Coastal Walkway to Bell Block, which was opened at the end of 2014, has helped improve the connectedness of the satellite town with the main urban centre of New Plymouth.
Unlike the other growth areas around New Plymouth, Bell Block has the advantage of being relatively coastal. Being slightly further from central New Plymouth means that housing options in the area can be reasonably affordable, although the town also appeals to people looking to build a higher-end home as well.
Other advantages for Bell Block include growing business activity in industrial areas near the town, as well as its proximity to the Valley Mega Centre on the northeast outskirts of New Plymouth.
The broader Taranaki economy has struggled somewhat over the last couple of years due to the sharp downturn in both dairy and oil prices – factors that had helped generate strong growth in previous years. The region’s economic struggles are reflected in Bell Block’s population growth, which has slowed from 5.1% to 1.4%pa since 2010, and is currently running below Statistics NZ’s low projections.
The current recovery in dairy prices should help improve the region’s economic performance. But even if growth in the Taranaki economy continues to be modest, we expect Bell Block to be an outperformer within the region. Continued population growth and demand for housing will feed through into further expansion of retail facilities and social infrastructure such as schools.
"Continued population growth and demand for housing will feed through into further expansion of retail facilities and social infrastructure"
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