A Dunedin man’s hunch may have paid off as the latest rezoning decisions allow for more than 60 homes on his property. The retired builder, John Kidston bought 6ha as an investment in Helensburgh. Kidston saw potential in the land despite the Dunedin City Council saying that it was unfit for building at the time he purchased it.
Over the past 2 years, the Dunedin City Council has undertaken reviews of Dunedin’s land for housing capacity to address how it can ensure it meets the Government's requirements to provide for future housing supply. In response to that directive, the DCC initiated Variation 2 of the 2GP which considered rezoning proposals identifying land suitable for rezoning to residential.
Terramark’s planning team worked closely with the Kidston family to promote their block in Wakari as being suitable to be rezoned to residential as part of Variation 2 of the 2GP.
The Dunedin City Council has since announced new potential sites for residential development with a concentration in Helensburgh which includes Kidston’s land on Wakari Road. The decision could unlock land for roughly 970 houses in the next 10 years.
The land had been up for sale for a period of time prior to Kidston purchasing it, as it was not suitable for much other than livestock or baleage, he said. But when Kidston visited the land he recognised its value and snapped it up as a long-term investment. Initially, he was told by the council that there was no way he could build anything on the site, however, Kidston disagreed and was willing to bet his money on it. “I was a builder before I retired and I could see what it was going to be like in years to come”
John Kidston and his wife Mary expected to wait 10-20 years for the rezoning to happen in the area and had set up the investment to pass on to his children. The speed at which it turned around was the biggest surprise, said Kidston.
It was Kidston’s first subdivision and they did not know how much they expected to make. Mary and John’s four children were also involved in the deal. Mary’s family has lived in the area for over 100 years so the subdivision would be somewhat of a legacy for the family.
They wanted to reflect the recent developments in Mosgiel and have their subdivision of high quality and environmentally friendly. “These subdivisions last forever. You want to make it really good for when you pass it on”.