Subdivision landowner may appeal

This house in Waikouaiti was built about 1890 and the property was once owned by a prominent...
This house in Waikouaiti was built about 1890 and the property was once owned by a prominent settler family. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A Waikouaiti farm owner is disappointed his application to subdivide a 19th-century homestead has been rejected and he is considering an appeal.

The Quarry Rd property’s history includes the earliest days of Pakeha settlement in Otago and its future has yet to be determined.

Landowner Warwick Williamson is in negotiations to sell the farm.

He had wanted to carve out 3.1ha around an old villa and build a new house on the 28.8ha that remained, allowing a buyer of the smaller section to restore the villa, but the Dunedin City Council would not allow the subdivision and the proposal was in conflict with density provisions for the rural area.

Mr Williamson said the council seemed to take a one-size-fits-all approach and was unwilling to depart from it.

‘‘I’m a bit disappointed with the decision,’’ he said.

It had been suggested the council’s stance might lead to the villa being demolished, although this could depend on the intentions of a prospective purchaser.

As things stand, a landowner who wanted to build a new house on the property would be barred from doing so, while the villa remained, because of the council’s rules.

The villa is not formally recognised for its historical value, but the property is viewed as having local historical significance.

Hawksbury Village may have been named after the house built on the property by the Orbell family about 1850, a heritage report for the council says.

The villa still in existence was constructed by George and Elizabeth Schultze about 1890.

The site was bought by former publican Patrick Toomey in 1918 and the dwelling at that time had 12 rooms.

Toomey family members owned the property through most of the 20th century.

The house is described in the heritage report as being a substantial timber villa in fair condition, but needing maintenance.

It would clearly qualify for heritage protection in the council’s heritage schedule, if proposed, heritage consultant Jeremy Moyle said.

The council’s hearings committee decided there was ‘‘a risk of an undesirable precedent being established’’ if the subdivision consent had been granted.

An appeal would need to be lodged by the end of the month.



I can categorically state that Hawksbury Village was named after the survey district and is in no way associated with this property.



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