A Timaru District Council standing committee has decided to retain the rural land adjacent to Sir Basil Arthur Park, declining an offer of purchase.
The Council was approached by developers to purchase the Recreation 2 zoned land west of the Papaka Stream, a former training farm that is now currently grazed, to create a large residential subdivision.
The unanimous decision by the Community Services Committee was that the Council would retain the site, while continuing work this year on developing options for more affordable section availability through the Growth Management Strategy and the District Plan Review.
While the council said that access to affordable land was important, this couldn’t be the sole issue considered and it was important that site suitability, and long term sustainability and affordability from an infrastructure perspective was also considered.
Council said the proximity of the development to the industrial area could also have significant negative amenity effects on those buying properties, and could constrain both current industrial operations and long term business growth in Washdyke.
It was noted that there are already more than 60 hectares of residentially zoned land awaiting development in Timaru City, primarily in the North and Northwest of the city, and that any future decisions around use of the land under discussion would be informed through the District Plan process this year.