Farm land venture bides time
‘‘Porirua’s next suburb’’, north of Plimmerton, is on hold due to the global recession, but there is optimism a developer will take advantage of the striking views and great location in the future.
Plimmerton Farm is a 386-hectare (953 acres) block of land on the eastern side of State Highway 1. The land has been owned by the Benge family since the 1960s and has a rateable value of $3.7 million.
Identified in the 2009-19 Porirua Development Framework as an area for ‘‘intensive development’’, it has already attracted interest from an overseas buyer, but sales agent Chris Gollins says that fell through due to a combination of council regulations and charges, New Zealand Transport Agency and the recession.
‘‘We were close to getting a contract signed in 2007 but Transit [now NZTA] were worried about the effects on the state highway. Anyone looking to develop on that sort of scale is looking at tens of millions of dollars in consents, charges and fees, and things just move so slowly.
‘‘ I think it will be years before something happens but I have no doubt this is Porirua’s next suburb. We’re looking at another Whitby or Aotea, with fantastic views and great topography.’’
Mr Gollins says one way to help the economy during a recession is to invest in building works and he hopes that will eventually see Plimmerton Farm subdivided.
About 1600 homes could be built, but that figure might come down if some of the land is developed for lifestyle blocks.
A private plan change would be needed to amend Porirua City Council’s District Plan, a move Porirua mayor Nick Leggett says the council is open to.
Mr Leggett makes no apologies for the ‘‘ high environmental standards’’ PCC has in place, which are there to show ‘‘ a level of respect and attention’’ on behalf of the public.
Summer colour: Students from Elsdon’s South Pacific Academy help paint one of nine new murals at the south end of Waitangirua Mall last week. Mural designer Rad Keen, 16, pictured middle, said it was ‘‘pretty cool helping out the community’’.