Nominated for the 2018 North Canterbury Business Awards for the Environmental Step Change Award for the work which has been done to enhance the natural features of the land. The goal, developing the family farm of two long standing local land owners, Jim and Susan Wakefield, into a series of enhanced waterways and water treatment facilities, surrounded by residential lots. The land being developed was once a forest with waterways, before it was farmed for many years. With the property bounding the existing suburban development of Rangiora we saw an opportunity to use the existing waterways as a feature of the new living spaces. Our designers, Eliot Sinclair and Partners, were briefed to ensure there was minimal disturbance to the natural amenity of the scape. While financial return to the family is a consideration, we take development seriously, we realise that what our team is creating will be part of the local community for many decades, so we have budgeted to create recreational spaces in lieu of maximising lot capacity. As such we have a responsibility to ensure the local runanga are involved in the process of development and that ECan’s stringent guidelines for operation are adhered too.
We intend to present a living space to Rangiora that enhances the occupants outdoor experience by having access to recreational reserves and the wildlife the surroundings will attract.
Prior to the development of residential lots, Townsend Road has been extended to meet West belt and a storm water management treatment area has been constructed at the south boundary. We have had to manage the storm water from the site during construction ensuring the existing waterways are not disturbed. This was achieved by numerous techniques derived by collaboration with ECan and Eliot Sinclair and Partners. Temporary storm water holding areas, silt containment fences, matting, exhaustive water clarity testing and flocculation procedures. We had to relocate a portion of an existing spring fed stream, including the fauna contained within. We saw this as an opportunity to improve the the existing ecosystem and visual amenity of the stream.
This development commenced five years ago, with the rezoning of the land under the government led” Land Use Recovery Program” LURP in early 2013, whilst the early stages of the plan change process had commenced the LURP simplified and expedited this process. With the rural portions of the farm subdivided and sold the focus became the design and construction of the Townsend Road extension and construction of the Storm Water Management Area. Townsend Fields is fortunate to have entered the development realm when the prominence of the ecological and cultural significance was at the forefront of the sector. The family behind Townsend Fields have a philanthropic history dedicated to the benefit of Canterbury’s residents and art precincts. This project does have to be financially viable, but it also created a perfect opportunity for the family to once again combine business pursuits with their desire to enhance the amenity of the district they have lived in for many decades. With the focus being on quality of design, quality of living environment and interaction with the natural ecology, the team believe the families intent has been more than achieved. With the development site being TC1 land we are reassured the future residents and the associated natural spaces will sustain any future seismic activity. A substantial cost has been attributed to the project over the past five years. The initial budgets that were set in conjunction with Eliot Sinclair and Partners have been adhered too. Currently we expect to be presenting the first lots to the market later in 2018, returns from these sales will contribute to the development of the second stage. There will five stages in total.