Building for Nelson's future

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 08:22 01/04/2014
Three Ridges
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ

ON SITE: Work being done on the Three Ridges subdivision, on the Ridgeway near Arapiki Road in Stoke.

andrew spittal
COLIN SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ
GIVING SOMETHING BACK: Nelson contractor Andrew Spittal says the Three Ridges subdivision is a development that will go some way to solving the city's affordable housing problems.

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A 64-lot subdivision has started on The Ridgeway, to be sold as house and land packages using a syndicate incorporating three home build firms.

Three Ridges is being developed by Home Living Solutions, whose directors include Nelson contractor Andrew Spittal, Gary Donaldson, and the heads of local home build franchises, Simon Collett and Graham Vercoe.

Spittal said it was essentially a group of local people who had set up a syndicate to create affordable homes, meaning a house and landscaped section could be bought for under $500,000.

The land on which the subdivision is being created is owned by Spittal and Collett, who came up with the idea they could create quality homes in that price bracket through controlling the development from the point the sections were created through to the design of the homes.

Collett is managing director of Jennian Homes and director of Milestone Homes Nelson Bays. Vercoe is head of GJ Gardner Homes in Nelson which as part of the venture has a right to build on the subdivision.

Spittal said the sections had been designed to suit the types of houses that would be built on the hillside subdivision. Sections would range in size from 450 sq m to 1800 sq m nearer the ridge. Homes further up the hill would increase in price.

Spittal said it had taken a lot of money up front and a nine-month wait to get resource consent. Two of the house and land packages had already sold but they hoped to actively go on the market from August.

The cost of developing on the hillside has been alleviated by the ability of the developers to do the earthworks.

"How we can reduce the cost of building is through using my own contracting business and the partnership we have created. That way we can pass on the savings to the end user," Spittal said.

"We're local boys who want to put something back into the community - we want to be able to build the best house on the site at the best price, and we can do that by buying the land and having control of the development from start to finish."

He said there was a predicted serious shortage of homes in Nelson-Tasman, particularly in Nelson where available flat land was very limited. Developers were now shy of taking risks, not only because of the cost but the complications of the resource consent process.

"The ‘mum and dad' developers of old are now more gun-shy.

"Nelson is also going to have to look at in-filling. That way you're not putting pressure on existing services."

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