Subdivision plan 'sign of times'

Plans for a new residential subdivision in Waverley are a sign of the times, the developer's consultant says.

Auckland-based developers Suneet Gupta and Harkesh Arora have been granted two overlapping non-notified consents by the Dunedin City Council for the subdivision at 27 Everton Rd.

The consents allowed a 15-lot subdivision, or a smaller 11-lot subdivision with a different layout, on the site.

Paterson Pitts Group director Kurt Bowen - whose company was assisting the developers - said the pair were now considering their options before committing to a preferred plan.

However, he believed the project showed re-emerging activity in Dunedin's residential property development market, which had been ''more buoyant'' in recent months.

''Demand is picking up again. We're finding over the last four to six months the property market has certainly been more buoyant than it has.

''As a result, we're seeing a lot of our previous clients, who maybe put things on hold, come back and reactivate developments that they're doing.''

The company - which offered planning and surveying services - had experienced a drop-off in private residential work in recent years, down from 60% of all work to 20% in the last few years, Mr Bowen said.

''Now we're picking that back up and it's starting to swing back again.''

News of the development came just days after Cr Syd Brown was also granted non-notified consent for the next two stages of his 10ha, 212-lot subdivision in Hagart Alexander Dr, Mosgiel.

Cr Brown said at the time he was pressing ahead with the next 37 homes after the 46 homes already either under construction or completed proved more popular than expected.

''As a result, I'm way ahead of schedule,'' he said.

The developers of the Everton Rd subdivision could not be contacted, but Companies Office records listed them as the sole directors of NZ Property Lovers Ltd, based in Auckland.

It was the second time a subdivision of the site had been approved, after earlier consents granted by the council to the developers were issued but allowed to lapse - ''possibly by accident'' - last year, Mr Bowen confirmed.

While the council had granted two new overlapping consents for the developers to choose from, their plans also included three other possible layouts for the site, he said.

That could require an application to vary one of the new consents, or to seek a third consent, he said.

The developers were also yet to decide whether to develop and sell vacant lots, or add homes and then sell package deals, he said.

They might also decide to wait before proceeding with any development, but expected to proceed ''reasonably quickly'' if they decided to press ahead with the subdivision, he said.

In that case, earthworks would likely begin in October or November, and it would take up to three months to develop vacant building platforms, or longer if homes were added, he said.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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