Once slated to be a landfill, now sections sell for up to $1.4m at Weiti Bay
Sections at a northern Auckland coastal site once destined to be a dump have sold for up to $1.4 million.
Michael Guy of Bayleys Orewa said 20 sites in the gated community at Weiti Bay, ranging from 1500sq m to 2000sq m, had been sold for an average $941,000.
The site is not far from the North Shore's outskirts, between the Okura Bush Scenic Reserve and south of Whangaparaoa, facing Karepiro Bay.
Gary Taylor, Environmental Defence Society chairman, said his organisation did not oppose the sales, although it had been involved in "negotiations with the landowner for some years over this property and have arrived at a position where the society is happy with what is proposed".
"This property was at one time slated as a site for Auckland's landfill. After it was passed over, the current quarry site at Dairy Flat was developed as Auckland's landfill.
"It is a very large property located between areas that have been fully urbanised.
The proportion of land being developed is small relative to the whole property and there are a number of countervailing environmental benefits including bike and walking trails, a conservation centre, retention and protection of native forest remnants, removal of all the pine trees and extensive native replanting to create bird corridors.
"The development areas have been assessed by us for landscape impacts and they are acceptable. Much of the land is being protected from future subdivision and so the entire block will constitute something of a permanent green belt between Albany and Whangaparaoa.
"The lots being sold at present are from the first stage and are the premium sites near but set back from the coastal edge. The balance development areas are further back into the block and are more intensive."
Evan Williams, chief executive of Williams Land, which is developing the project marketed as WeitiBay, said the subdivision would have a maximum of 150 lots. Two large villages were planned for a further separate area within the interior of Weiti, which is an 860ha conservation-oriented development.
"Weiti was 80 per cent to 90 per cent covered by a short-term production pine forest and people on the North Shore have traditionally thought of Weiti as a green belt, even though it is private property," he said.
"Although the harvest reached maturity and 350,000 tonnes of wood was harvested, we accepted a commitment to retain that green belt function. Our objective all along has been to see Weiti developed in a way that retains the majority of the property as a greenbelt and limits development to a level which will maintain a wide range of environmental gains from the open space components."