New plan for retirement village

Russell Checketts
Russell Checketts
Plans for a not-for-profit retirement village in Alexandra have changed tack and will now focus solely on a Central Otago District Council-owned piece of land, backers of the project have announced.

The decision was caused by delays in securing an additional piece of Crown land for the proposal, Leaning Rock Village Inc chairman Russell Checketts announced this week.

Leaning Rock members had initially hoped to build the retirement complex over three parcels of land along State Highway 8, near the Alexandra Golf Course - a 4.2ha freehold council title and two other pieces of Crown reserve land managed by the council.

The Crown land was being offered to Ngai Tahu, and Leaning Rock was planning to negotiate with Ngai Tahu to secure the land.

But it was taking so long to transfer the land to Ngai Tahu that the value of the reserve land, when eventually freeholded, would be "out of reach" for Leaning Rock, Mr Checketts said.

Leaning Rock members had therefore decided it was best to put negotiations for the Crown-Ngai Tahu land to the side, and proceed with the project on a smaller scale on just the council freehold land, Mr Checketts said.

About 100 units were now planned, and he hoped construction of the first units could begin within two years. The development would be staged.

The Vincent Community Board has agreed six times over the past five years to delay any further development interests in the council land while Leaning Rock was still in negotiations for the Crown land.

Mr Checketts said he hoped the board would continue to support the proposal and make the council land available for the retirement village as soon as possible.

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