Couple plan farm park with rare breeds
A couple behind a proposed farm park near Mapua that will feature a collection of rare animal breeds hope to open before Christmas.
David and Vicky Pattinson have applied to the Tasman District Council for consents to develop the venture on Gardner Valley Rd, off the coastal highway.
They expect to plough $1 million into developing a 17-hectare farm park focused on rare breed animals, along with a farm shop and cafe.
They want to offer a hands-on experience for visitors, and educational opportunities.
Mr Pattinson said: "We believe it will appeal to local people and visitors.
"My wife is a trained teacher and we're hoping to set up educational opportunities for local schools and preschools.
"We believe it will be an asset for the whole community."
The property, near the proposed Great Taste Cycle Trail, has rural zoning and they have yet to secure the support of all the neighbours.
Mr Pattinson, originally from Runanga on the West Coast, was financial controller at the Nelson freezing works. The couple lived in Nelson for seven years until 2000 when they went to England.
They returned to Nelson with their two sons and bought the Gardner Valley Rd property two years ago.
Mr Pattinson said establishing Animal Farm, Rare Breeds Farm Park was a lifelong dream.
They were passionate about protecting rare breeds, and since the start of the year had collected more than 150 animals.
The farm park will include Arapawa Island goats, kaimanawa horses, Ponui Island donkeys, Pitt Island sheep, kunekune and captain cooker pigs as well as alpacas and llamas.
Mr Pattinson said they had done a lot of research and had bought the property specifically with the aim of opening a farm park. It needed to be relatively close to town and had the added benefit of being beside the cycle trail.
They wanted to put in place a five to 10 year programme of developing the park and it would require significant investment, he said.
"It would be easy to spend $1 million without any trouble," he said.
They wanted to open in some form before Christmas to get their name "out there", he said.
Their application for land use consents and a wastewater discharge permit have been lodged with the council with a September 14 public submission deadline.
Mr Pattinson said: "I would like to think most people take a favourable outlook on it. Something like this tends to polarise people, half the neighbours are supportive, the other half not so supportive."
It would have a single sign by the state highway, and the NZ Transport Agency has given its approval.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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