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New Plymouth avocado orchard to become housing subdivision

Productive New Plymouth avocado orchard poised to become housing subdivision

Taranaki avocado-lovers could soon be crying in their guacamole with the pending sale of one of the province’s larger avocado orchards – and the likelihood that it will be turned into a housing subdivision.

The 2.78 hectare site on Airport Drive in Bell Block just north of the city is in a zoning area identified by New Plymouth’s District Council Plan as being of ‘future urban development’.

In preparing for the sale of the land, surveyors have prepared a draft subdivision plan for the block– slicing it up into 34 residential sections ranging in size from 604 square metres to 800 square metres. The plan also shows the construction of a new loop road running off Airport Drive. The land is currently zone Rural Area Q.

The land is being sold by tender through Bayleys Taranaki, with tenders closing on June 19.

Bayleys Taranaki co-owner Neale Parkinson said the Airport Drive land had been identified in New Plymouth District Council’s future planning guideline as being of particular importance for the future expansion of the city’s northern metropolitan boundary.

The council’s Land Supply Review and the Framework for Growth report notes that: “To minimise journey times to work and to services, it is sensible that future residential expansion areas are focussed to the east of New Plymouth and around Bell Block.”

“In the short to medium term, the areas around Airport Drive will provide about 105 hectares of land. Development of this area will need to be carefully planned to ensure a wider view is taken of how the suburb will evolve.”

“The council’s planning strategy framework says that an average of 280 new homes need to be built in and around New Plymouth annually to meet the city’s population growth demands,” Mr Parkinson said.

“In the 20 years to 2027, 4,000 to 4,800 homes will be required in the 250 hectares of urban area in New Plymouth and Bell Block. The additional demand for new homes will need to be met through the re-zoning of future growth areas.

“Those guidelines make this piece of real estate a very strategic landholding.”

Mr Parkinson said that while the land had originally been established as an avocado orchard many years ago, the growth of New Plymouth over the intervening years meant its value now lay in residential development to support the city’s swelling boundaries.

“My advice would be to buy your avocados from there while you can… because next year’s salads may well contain avocado grown outside of Taranaki,” he said.


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