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Historic urban-fringe dairy farm mooted for re-development

The residential boundary ring-fencing one of the Waikato’s foremost service towns is to expand considerably as a result of major land-use zoning changes.

An historic pocket-sized dairy farm directly on the edge of Morrinsville has been placed on the market for sale. The farm was once part of a far larger block first owned by Thomas Morrin – forefather of the town which went on to bear his family name.

However, with the farm land now zoned for future residential use, the forecast from one real estate expert is that the land will most likely be converted into a new housing subdivision to satisfy the demands of Morrinsville’s urban growth.

The 79-hectare freehold dairy farm at 162 Studholme Street on Morrinsville’s northern fringe is currently operated with a 50/50 sharemilker in place running a herd of 252 cows.

Under Matamata Piako District Council’s operative plan though, the farm has been rezoned into 41 hectares of residential property and almost 38 hectares of rural/residential property – suitable for subdivision into bigger ‘lifestyle’ size sections.

The farm is being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Waikato, with tenders closing on February 28. Bayleys Waikato salesperson Mike Fraser-Jones
said the farm’s land-use rezoning would most likely mean its days as productive real estate would be ending.

“With the populations of many Waikato towns growing as residents from Hamilton move out of the city but not out of the province, towns like Cambridge, Matamata and Morrinsville have all seen their catchments increase,” Mr Fraser-Jones said.

“That has subsequently placed demands on the limited housing stock in those towns. However, for the most part, urban expansion in Waikato’s smaller towns has been piecemeal – with just a few houses being added ‘here and there’ because of respective zoning constraints.

“The rezoning of Studholme Street is Matamata-Piako District Council’s direct response to alleviating housing pressure in the town. The obvious appeal of this farm for large-scale residential subdivision developers is firstly its gentle rolling contour - which would make for easy residential subdivision and laying down of utilities and infrastructure.

“Additionally, there is the potential to add multiple new access roads into what would be a new housing subdivision by extending the current dead-end streets of Cobham Drive, George Street and Fairway Drive which currently terminate at the farm boundaries, and by adding access of Taukoro Road.”

Mr Fraser-Jones said that continuing the sharemilking partnership on the farm would provide holding income while any large-scale redevelopment plans were drafted and submitted to Matamata-Piako District Council for consent.

Mr Fraser-Jones said that in its present well-established agricultural-production format, infrastructure and buildings on the farm included:
• A 20-aside herringbone milking shed
• A modest three-bedroom home let as part of the sharemilking contract
• A six-bay implement
and
• A five-bay implement shed.

“The ‘continued existing use’ zoning policy of Matamata-Piako District Council does of course allow for the property to continue to be run as a dairying operation, so there is the potential that it could be bought as either an investment property or to serve as a run-off block,” Mr Fraser-Jones said.

Water for the farm is drawn from a bore and then pressure-fed through alkathene piping around the property’s 40 paddocks. Effluent is stored in two clay-lined ponds.


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