Stratford District Council plans to subdivide a lifestyle block off its Flint Road farm to pay back some debt owed on the property.
The block is home to a two-storey house and was part of the 53ha Campbell farm which was purchased in 2015 to increase the size of the original farm.
Councillors received a report on the sale of the house and surrounding land and buildings during a council Policy and Services Committee meeting last Tuesday.
Councillors agreed that an area of up to 2.5ha around and including the current sharemilker's house be subdivided from the farm and sold to reduce debt on the farm by around $500,000.
Chief executive Sven Hanne will determine the final area, configuration and sale price of the land.
A surplus council-owned house on Pembroke Road will be relocated to the farm to provide accommodation for the sharemilker. The land on Pembroke Road will be used for roading access to the council's new subdivision.
At last Tuesday's meeting, council parks and property asset manager Neil Cooper says there was a certain amount of urgency to relocate the house so that work on the subdivision could get underway in the next few months.
Mr Cooper says the council's long-term plan in 2015 had raised the idea of subdividing and selling off part of the Campbell block with the dwelling and surrounding buildings, however this did not proceed at the time.
Apart from giving council an opportunity to reduce debt on the farm, the former Campbell farm house, as a large two-storey high-value dwelling, is not ideal as worker accommodation. The Pembroke Road house is four-bedroom, single storey and has been recently renovated inside,
"It will require less maintenance than the current dwelling and will provide more than adequate accommodation for the sharemilker and his family."
Mr Cooper says the impact on the farm in terms of loss of productive land is minimal.
"Neither the sharemilker nor both party's respective farm consultants consider the loss of approximately one hectare of productive land out of a total of 132ha will have any measurable impact on milk production."
He says any potential net sale proceeds would go towards repayment of farm debt, reducing interest costs.
The business plan developed for the farm indicates that, by selling the land it is estimated that the total net asset value of the farm would reduce by $100,000.
The potential net cash gain, after all direct costs are taken into account from selling off the house, is indicated at $575,000 with a saving of $20,068 in interest costs per year.