The odour from a nearby mushroom composting operation will not be an issue for prospective homeowners, says the promoter of a large residential development underway at the former Arataki Motor Camp in Havelock North.

Greenstone Land Developments director Tim Wilkins said site preparations were well underway for the development where 39 residential sections were planned ranging in size from 400m2 to 750m2.

The first stage of 9 sections was expected to go to market in June, but already Greenstone had more registrations of interest than sites available, at this the largest residential development in Havelock North in the last seven years.

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Wilkins said the company bought the camping ground from the former owner, who recently purchased it back from the Crown, after the land was deemed no longer suitable for education purposes.

A previous plan to relocate the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu to the Ministry of Education-owned site was ditched in 2016 because of the odours emanating from nearby Te Mata Mushrooms.

Wilkins said, however, he didn't think odour would be an issue for people wanting to buy a property and live there.

"The mushroom farm has been there for a very long time and there has always been a smell although it increased as production increased over the years.

"However, there's 600 houses already there at the same distance from the mushroom farm as this development, so it shouldn't be a problem."

The fact that the mushroom farm was seeking resource consent to move its composting operation to Waipukurau, could give potential buyers an extra level of comfort, he said.

Wilkins had kept a close eye on the Arataki camp ground site since he purchased and developed adjacent land in 2004.

"That development, Arataki Mews, sold quickly and those who missed out asked about the potential of the camp ground site. We're now thrilled to be able to offer new sections in Havelock North," he said.


De-commissioning the camp ground and clearing the 70-plus buildings including 20 cabins was already underway, with some of dwellings being purchased for RSE worker accommodation and a number of caravans sold to the Hastings and Mahia Motor Camps.

"There's a lot of work to do to clear the site and our aim is to recycle as much as possible. It's been an eye opener walking through and seeing what was left behind, everything from bedding and televisions to barbeque tables. There is also an indoor swimming complex, a cinema and library," Wilkins said.

Greenstone Land Development sales manager Peter Cooke said interest was already high following the listing of information on the Greenstone website last week.

"This isn't surprising since it's the largest release of land in Havelock North for some time, and follows the same strong demand we experienced with our large residential development in Lyndhurst, Hastings."

Greenstone had submitted a resource consent with the Hastings District Council, as well as engineering plans for onsite infrastructure and services.

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