Oamaru couple Nicky and Mark Hay are offering up a slice of their own paradise, with a new subdivision overlooking Oamaru.
The Hays have been on their Bywell St lifestyle block for just over 10 years, and had long considered the potential of the approximately 2ha site, with sea views.
‘‘It was never going to stay farmland forever,’’ Mr Hay said.
‘‘The town’s growing and it needs more land for housing. And it is a wonderful spot, so it’s good to be able to share it.’’
The subdivision was called Wanbrow Heights, due to its proximity to Cape Wanbrow.
The pair, who were semiretired, began the planning process of dividing the land into nine sections about three years ago now. Seven of them would be sold.
The earthworks began about six months ago.
It had been a far more involved process than either of them imagined at the beginning, but also rewarding, he said.
‘‘I’ve got a lot of respect for people that have been through the process before.
‘‘You don’t understand what all goes into something like this until you actually walk it . . . it’s been a learning curve.
‘‘But it’s definitely interesting and rewarding when you get some parts of it done.’’
Mrs Hay said they were not under any time pressure, and so although there had been hurdles, it had not caused too much extra stress.
‘‘There’s no ‘have to do it’, it’s just something we planned to do. So whatever will be will be,’’ she said.
‘‘The timing was more to suit us, we’re at that stage in life,’’ Mr Hay said.
‘‘Other than that, the biggest challenge has probably been the weather, really.
‘‘It’s starting to settle down now, but pre-Christmas, it was terrible. Every time we dug anything, it started raining.’’
Mr Hay was involved in establishing Apex Engineering in 2007, and was owner/ operator there until last September, when he retired to concentrate on the subdivision.
Mrs Hay had worked in various jobs, including retail, sales, radio, and even operated a lathe at Apex Engineering at one time. She remained working part-time.
They wanted to oversee the subdivision themselves, so they could have control over the end result, Mrs Hay said.
‘‘Especially after living here, and knowing all the neighbours — knowing their concerns. We all came here for the same reason, so what we want to do is ensure we look after what everybody finds really special up here.’’
The site design was created with help from architect Virginia Barlow, who was also responsible for the graphics on the display signs near the Oamaru lookout. The sections ranged in size from 975sq m to 2350sq m, and would have services to the gate.
Some would be accessed from Selwyn St, and some from Bywell St.
‘‘We’re doing it in a way it’s not going to affect us, but also we’re sympathetic to that for whoever else might build on the site as well.
‘‘We want them to have some protection over what they can see and what’s built around them as well,’’ Mr Hay said.
The boundary of the subdivision was on the cape, so it could not be built out to the north, and where possible, the Hays were trying to provide access to the cape from the sections.
There had been some interest in the subdivision, which they hoped would be on the market within the next month or two.