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ST KILDA, CAMBRIDGE – COMPLETION OF AN AWARD WINNING DEVELOPMENT

INTRODUCTION

This development is the brainchild of the Father and Son partnership of Mike and Matt Smith and their Development Company Grantchester Farm Ltd. The parent property was operated as a small dairy operation and was dissected by the Waikato Expressway, leaving a portion within the Cambridge Town boundary and the larger balance of the property of approximately 80 ha on the Eastern side of the Expressway, left in the Rural Zone. Following a lengthy consultation period with Council and surrounding landowners a development concept was finally accepted for this 80 ha tract of land and a Plan Change promulgated to include a new St Kilda Structure Plan Area in 2009. The vision was to create an eco-friendly subdivision with strict building covenants in order to establish a high quality development and in turn, an attractive, liveable community.

​DEVELOPMENT CONCEPTS

The initial development concepts were for a Rural Residential type development given the Expressway separation of the existing residential development on the Western side of the Cambridge Bypass, however this was not supported by Council and a new concept of larger residential sections of a 1600m² average size was developed, which was finally accepted. The final design would also incorporate a small Commercial node and several Local Purpose Reserves surrounding new wetlands and stream environs. 

As the project evolved a portion of the land in the North – Eastern corner was purchased by BUPA and consent obtained for a small retirement village and care facility. Land Use Consent was also obtained for up to 5 duplex developments per stage to introduce a mix of higher density living.

DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS AND CONSTRAINTS

Transpower Infrastructure – A major development constraint was the major HV electricity feed and pylons that traversed the property to the Cambridge Sub Station, adjoining on the Northern boundary of the property. After extensive consultation and design work these lines were relocated underground and a small portion of land on a neighbouring property bought to house the termination structure required to convert the lines from overhead to underground along road alignments. This process included approximately 2 km of cable installed at a cost of approximately $6M.

Earthworks – Earthworks design was also carried out by Beca and a large Earthmoving Company ( C & R Developments ) was contracted to carry out these works. The project was one of the first to have machine control GPS on large excavators and this was a huge success given the intricate batter and wetland designs involved.

Stormwater Disposal – Beca Ltd were also employed to provide design services for infrastructure and the brief was to create hydraulic neutrality involving a mixture of onsite disposal methods and waterways to minimse the impacts of concentrated stormwater. The Mangaone Stream also traversed through the middle of the property and a proposal to divert this to an alignment along the Expressway boundary was included in the design process.

Two large wetlands were designed to hold and treat concentrated stormwater with secondary flows to the Stream. The largely flat contour of the site provided serious challenges to this design work. 
Sewage Disposal – With such a large spread out development on flat contour land the logistics of gravity fed systems was difficult and the final design required four smaller pump stations feeding to a main pump station and then to a rising main that fed under the Expressway to connect to the existing Cambridge North infrastructure.

Water supply – An extension from a nearby water reservoir via a large diameter pipe was designed to provide the sites with the necessary water supply with fire fighting capacity.

UFF and Power – This was one of the first developments in the locality with solely fibre installation and coordination of this along with large scale power installation was also challenging with a high level of coordination required of the Project Managers, Contractor, and service providers.

​CONSTRUCTION STAGING

With the large scale of development of approximately 285 Lots, a Staged development was planned with a large portion of the development costs generated in the first stage with the infrastructure requirements and HV under-grounding required with Stage 1. Development has occurred steadily over a 5 year period and the surge in the property market over the last few years saw the Stage 5 sections sold well before the end of construction in early 2017.

​MARKETING AND SALES

Through the St Kilda website and excellent marketing the development attracted many people looking for larger sites in a high quality environment and it is considered the premium residential subdivision in the Cambridge locality. High end building companies took the opportunity to purchase multiple sites and design and build packages are popular. The high quality, broad range of house designs has provided a unique development that has become a vibrant small community.

​SUMMARY

St Kilda has been designed and constructed with strong focus on community and environment to achieve the desired principles of urban design. Positive contributions to the built environment include ;

  • Environmental Engineering Design – Sustainable stormwater design incorporating wetlands and stream diversions, with an emphasis onsite retention and recycling to achieve hydraulic neutrality with allowance for climate change.
  • Energy Conservation – Solar energy systems have been made compulsory and design covenants include stormwater recycling, higher specification insulation and use of other eco-friendly building materials.
  • Healthy Lifestyle – 18km of shared cycleways / paths throughout the development will encourage a healthy, active lifestyle for residents and the community.
  • Environmental – Wetlands in particular provide a natural environments for birds and other small wildlife and the planting of native species has seen a large increase in the presence of native birds such as Tui. Public resting places through these wetlands encourage the residents and general public to enjoy this amenity.
  • Encouaraging Community – Connectivity has been a large part of the urban design process with paths connecting meeting places such as the local Café and Playground which encourage neighbours in particular to commune.
  • Public Amenities  - St Kilda has not been designed as an exclusive community and plentiful carparks adjoining Reserves and wetland areas encourage non-resident use.

In conclusion St Kilda has become a premier development on the outskirts of Cambridge, centrally located and with easy access to the Waikato Expressway. This has seen it become an attractive place to live with many of the residents having relocated from places like Auckland to enjoy the lifestyle Cambridge and St Kilda offer.

Phil Cogswell