More council land for industrial development a positive step for Timaru

The Timaru District Council could be about to open up more land for industrial development.
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

The Timaru District Council could be about to open up more land for industrial development.

The potential for two Timaru-District Council owned, industrial land blocks in Washdyke being opened up for commercial development has been welcomed.

Concerns were raised last year that a lack of serviced industrial land at Washdyke would stymie further growth.

While news that new blocks of land may be opened up for development has been deemed positive, a local real estate agent says it is only a first step.

In a report to the Timaru District Council's Infrastructure Committee, which will meet on Tuesday, infrastructure group manager Ashley Harper recommends the committee deems two sections of industrial zoned land on Meadows Road and a section of rural zoned land on Aorangi Rd as surplus to requirements.

The sections had originally been bought by council for the proposed wastewater treatment plant.

"If the Infrastructure Committee decides to declare the land surplus, a report on future options for the use of the land will be presented to the council's Policy and Development Committee in due course."

Timaru real estate agent Peter Wilson said last year the fact the town had "run-out" of serviced industrial land could be putting off larger companies from moving to the town's industrial enclave. 

He said on Monday the need for more land to be made available had not changed.

"There's still a shortage of industrial land for sale, full stop. These sections are just not available as far as big companies coming to Timaru is concerned."

He welcomed the news that two "big blocks" of industrially-zoned land could soon be opened up for commercial use.

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"Anything that creates any extra industrial land is a good thing."

However, Wilson said while the possible development of industrial blocks was positive, he cautioned that it was only a first step.

"There's still good strong demand for industrial land, serviced industrial land. When I say serviced that's important, serviced means stormwater, sewer, kerb and channelling, ready to go.  

"With these big blocks, it's probably going to take some time to develop and sub-divide them ... these blocks need to be developed to the point where they are sub-divided." 

Aoraki Development chief executive Nigel Davenport said Aoraki Development was currently 70 per cent of the way through putting together a comprehensive database of available industrial land across the Port, Redruth and Washdyke areas.

"We want to talk to the owners of the industrial land in those three areas , and understand...what their plans are, is it open for sale or future development."

He also welcomed more potentially "shovel-ready" land, such as the council plots, being brought on-stream in Timaru.

He said such development was "another important piece of the jigsaw" in the future development of the town.

Davenport also said it was natural that "council, like any landowner, will be looking at their land holdings going forward to see if it is suitable for various options." 

 - Stuff

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