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First-home buyers in with a shout

There are a range of lot sizes in the plans for a huge Lansdowne subdivision. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

New subdivision to feature mix of prices
Work set to begin this week

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New houses that first-home buyers can afford have been promised in the Westwood Lansdowne subdivision on 30.7 hectares of land purchased from Masterton District Council.

More than 200 sites for homes are proposed in the development, one of Wairarapa’s largest, and there will be a mix of prices, developer Steve Pilbrow said.

A concept plan shows rural section from 1200m2 to 4000m2 with the best views on the higher points close to Boltons Rd and along the side of the Masterton Golf Club course, and also new streets with smaller sections of 400m2 to 640m2 as well as lots in between.

Pilbrow says having a mix of lot sizes provides the opportunity for a variety of potential buyers and helps create diversity, in turn encouraging development of sustainable communities.

“For the first time in a long time we believe we will be able to provide a product that will meet the first home buyer market – true affordable housing, along with some premium product that will take advantage of the panoramic views afforded by the elevated platforms surrounding the golf course.”

He’s not making public pricing but says he hopes to be able to begin marketing pre-sales in August, subject to council approval of resource consents.

“This subdivision will be a combination of both house and land packages where we keep control of the quality of the build and options where people can buy a section and use their own builder.”

There will be restrictive covenants in place to protect the quality.

The council announced last week it had sold the land, known as the Williams Block, originally gifted to it many decades ago, by tender to Westwood for $2.4 million.

Assuming 200 lots in the development, that is $12,000 a lot, but that doesn’t include the cost of preparing the land for housing or the development contribution that goes to the council whenever is a new subdivision.

The development will be carried out by Westwood Lansdowne, a joint venture between Steve and Kate Pilbrow and David and Karyn Morris who are also the owners of the proposed retirement village behind the Copthorne Hotel.

Work on site will begin this week with initial engineering investigations getting under way to enable Westwood to lodge a resource consent application early in June.

As part of the tender process to buy the land, Westwood engaged Boffa Miskell to help with the development concept.

The council has used the firm for several projects, including the CBD rejuvenation.

While the land will be developed in stages, a master plan has been prepared at the outset to ensure the development of the site is considered overall rather than in a piecemeal manner, which Pilbrow says can occur when blocks of land are sold in small parcels and developed over a longer period of time.

The approach ensures different housing areas and types are considered cohesively with roads, public open spaces, walkways, cycleways and landscaping, he says.

He says in subdivisions he has completed to date, about two-thirds of buyers have been locals and a third from out of town.

There is a lot of chat on social media about a lack of affordable housing in Wairarapa, including in Masterton. But there has been a lot of new building.

Council documents made public last week showed new subdivisions with more than 400 homes were under way in Masterton with another 200 are planned on land along Chamberlain Rd.

Pilbrow says the pricing of this latest subdivision will provide a more affordable product and is targeted at a different market.

Westwood Property Group Ltd are the developers behind The Plains subdivision [44 lots], The Barracks subdivision [55 lots], Maple Grove subdivision [21 lots] and the Solway Country Estate development [70 lots]. In addition, Westwood completed the first stage of the Westwood subdivision in Greytown, The Hub complex in Greytown and the group is also planning to build Greytown’s first apartment building.

With stages one and two of The Plains now completed and all but sold out, work has begun on The Barracks subdivision where sales are progressing well, Pilbrow says.

Infrastructure work at The Barracks will be completed later this year, allowing the team to begin at the Gordon St development in summer where the plan is to complete the first two stages. Additional stages will be driven based on market demand.

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