Clutha Mayor wants further subdivision as demand continues

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan and Plantation Heights sales co-ordinator Jo Jack stand in front of...
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan and Plantation Heights sales co-ordinator Jo Jack stand in front of what will be some of the final new builds on the Balclutha subdivision, yesterday morning. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
Clutha officials want to see further subdivisions developed in the district, as a council-established project reaches capacity.

Clutha District Council started work on the 27ha Plantation Heights subdivision, in north Balclutha, in late 2016, investing about $5.7million in its development.

An eventual 66 mixed residential and lifestyle sections were created, ranging from 433sqm to 3.33ha.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said yesterday although four sections remained for sale, recent demand suggested those would be sold this year, concluding the project about a year earlier than expected.

In addition, although the project had been designed to be cost-neutral to the ratepayer, it would end up generating a "pleasing", as yet untotalled profit.

Mr Cadogan said the successful conclusion of the project was a credit both to the courage of the council, and to the support of ratepayers, and he would now like to see further subdivisions started.

"When we set out on the Plantation Heights project five years ago, it was with an awareness of the growing demand for housing in the district, to help fill the huge number of jobs our employers are offering.

"At the time we knew it was a leap of faith both for council and for ratepayers, and we’d like to thank the public for showing that faith to help us drive the district forward."

The subdivision would create 73 new ratepayers, he said.

If the decision were his alone, Mr Cadogan said he would "set up the next Plantation Heights tomorrow".

However, the council as a whole remained cautious, meaning opportunities also existed for third-party developers to "step up".

"When you take into account the lead-in time to set up a subdivision’s infrastructure, it’s right now you want to be taking action and getting the wheels moving.

"The place showing the most growth potential is Milton, but I can see the ability for any of our towns to give it a shot and harness this opportunity."

He said Clutha real estate still remained relatively affordable, in comparison to elsewhere in New Zealand.

"We have a waiting list of section buyers from our most recent sales push at Plantation Heights, and are still receiving inquiries.

"It’s certainly something we’ll continue to discuss within council, and we’d also be open to discussions with any developers out there with appropriate energy and ambition."

He said the development had created a "huge boost" for the local construction sector.

"It’s a hive of activity here, and will remain so for a while to come. Local builders have taken on 19 apprentices during the past year with the support of our Jobbortunities programme. It just underlines the positive momentum coming through the district as a whole."


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