Vil­lage life pop­u­lar draw­card

To­day Prop­erty Weekly be­gins a se­ries of ar­ti­cles fea­tur­ing small out­ly­ing towns and sub­urbs of Palmer­ston North. This week Sue Emeny vis­its Ash­hurst and dis­cov­ers what makes it such a good place to live.

Manawatu Standard - Property Weekly - - Front Page -

If you are look­ing to en­joy the peace and tran­quil­lity of a vil­lage life­style but with all the ad­van­tages of city liv­ing, then Ash­hurst could be the per­fect place to buy a house. Ash­hurst, with a pop­u­la­tion of about 3500, is a typ­i­cal small ru­ral New Zealand town but is just 10 min­utes from Palmer­ston North.

Sit­ting on the doorstep of some of the re­gion’s most beau­ti­ful scenery, drive through the vil­lage and head to the beau­ti­ful Po­hang­ina Val­ley.

In cater­ing for fam­i­lies, the vil­lage has a school, a kinder­garten, child­care cen­tre and play cen­tre. Ash­hurst School caters for chil­dren up to Year 8 and has a role of 400.

At the heart of the com­mu­nity is the Vil­lage Val­ley Cen­tre. It has a bas­ket­ball court, squash courts, a good kitchen and lounge space for meet­ings. It is the venue for the an­nual Ash­hurst Craft Fair.

Other fa­cil­i­ties in­clude good sum­mer and win­ter sports grounds. Ash­hurst Do­main is a large multi-pur­pose park, which in­cludes a camp­ing ground, a look­out to the wind farm, a ceme­tery and ca­nine area. Lin­coln Park is the home ground of the lo­cal rugby team, Ash­hurstPo­hang­ina RFC, and there are sev­eral other small parks dot­ted around the vil­lage.

De­spite be­ing a small town, res­i­dents are well served by lo­cal busi­nesses in­clud­ing two su­per­mar­kets, hair­dresser, fish and chip shop, cafes, ho­tels, dairy, petrol sta­tion, as well as in­dus­tries ser­vic­ing the vil­lage and ru­ral ar­eas.

While Ash­hurst no longer has its own doc­tor and phar­macy, there is a medicine de­pot. Trans­porta­tion is pro­vided with a bus ser­vice that runs be­tween vil­lage and Palmer­ston North.

An added at­trac­tion is The Herb Farm, just a two-minute drive away. This fea­tures a re­tail shop, al­most a hectare of themed gar­dens and self-guided gar­den walk and kid’s quiz. A cafe pro­vides fresh food in the indoor/out­door set­ting and a sem­i­nar room is per­fect for hands-on work­shops, busi­ness meet­ings or sem­i­nars.

Har­court’s real es­tate agent Paul Wel­drand says Ash­hurst is def­i­nitely a good area to buy in.

"Prospec­tive pur­chasers have a great choice of prop­erty through­out the Ash­hurst area, be that from a smaller fam­ily home to a sub­stan­tial life­style block.

‘‘Many re­cent sub­di­vi­sions have seen an avail­abil­ity of new prop­er­ties that can be pur­chased for less than in the im­me­di­ate Palmer­ston North sub­urbs.

‘‘For those buy­ers look­ing for the old­er­style homes, there is choice aplenty with turn-of-the-cen­tury char­ac­ter homes be­ing seen through­out the whole area. Ash­hurst is cer­tainly be­com­ing a great place to live with the real es­tate prospect be­ing very at­trac­tive to many."

The old and the new:

St Mary Mag­da­lene Church, wind tur­bines and the Val­ley Vil­lage Cen­tre pro­vide a unique con­trast in Ash­hurst.

School days: Ash­hurst School is highly re­garded by lo­cal fam­i­lies. It has a role of 400 and caters for chil­dren up to Year 8.

Pop­u­lar place: Nes­tled in amongst tall shade trees is a bar­be­cue area and play­ground, pop­u­lar at­trac­tions at Ash­hurst Do­main.

James Can­dish, owner of the Vil­lage Val­ley Au­to­mo­tive, grew up in Ash­hurst. He moved to Palmer­ston North to work but af­ter five years moved back to Ash­hurst four months ago with his wife. They were able to buy their new dream home for $100,000 less than a sim­i­lar house in Palmer­ston North, en­abling them to buy the busi­ness as well. ‘‘House prices are a whole lot bet­ter and we’ve had a lot of sup­port with the busi­ness from the lo­cals.’’

Rex Bros­nan has lived in Ash­hurst for 17 years and thinks it’s a great place to live and work. He owns Ash­hurst Mower Cen­tre on Cam­bridge Av­enue, a busi­ness that he started from home. ‘‘There are good-sized sec­tions, which are great for fam­i­lies, and there’s ev­ery­thing you need here – an ex­cel­lent school, a fire sta­tion and petrol sta­tion and there’s no rush-hour traf­fic.’’

Pete Munn has lived in Ash­hurst for ‘‘20-odd years’’ so he reck­ons that makes him ‘‘al­most a lo­cal’’. He has op­er­ated a lawn-mow­ing busi­ness dur­ing that time. He en­joys Ash­hurst’s ru­ral at­mos­phere.‘‘It’s a good lit­tle vil­lage and the peo­ple are friendly.’’

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