Housing options for former Cambridge quarry

5:28 PM Tuesday April 10, 2018 True Commercial

The block for sale is adjacent to Cambridge Raceway horse track and is identified by a red border. Photo / Supplied

A former sand quarry — where fine grit was extracted for use in Cambridge’s first sealed roads at the turn of last century — has been placed on the market for sale.

The block of about 1.6ha is immediately adjacent to both Cambridge Raceway horse track and the Vogel St football grounds and was once one of the biggest sand quarries in the region.

Product was extracted between 1900 and 1940, and used to build roads and pavements throughout the province.

For the next 10 years the site on the corner of Vogel, Taylor and King Sts was a refuse pyre, with much of Cambridge’s household waste burnt in a quarry pit there.

Throughout that period, Cambridge’s central business district and surrounding residential subdivisions continued to radiate outward from the original colonial-founded town hub.

At the start of the 1900s, Cambridge town centre was nearly a kilometre from the race track and former quarry.

Now, the Vogel/Taylor/King Sts apex forms part of Cambridge’s urban green belt — ringfencing the town within Taylor and Vogel Sts, the parkland area to the east, and Lamb St to the south.

The rectangular block, owned by Waipa District Council, is being marketed for sale by Bayleys Cambridge, with tenders closing at 4pm on Friday April 27.

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Another view of the land for sale with Cambridge housing encroaching onto it. Photo / Supplied

Bayleys Cambridge salespeople Karen Grootscholten and Kelly Grice say the block comprises three individual land titles, with prospective buyers having the opportunity to purchase one or multiple sites in any combination.

“Potentially, there is enough land within the block to contain more than 22 new houses on relatively big sections of around 700sq m each under a one-site format,” Grootscholten says. 

“That configuration would obviously change if the three lots, as they are currently titled, were purchased individually.

“For any residential development configuration though, the location has the substantial benefit of being possible accessible from three different road frontages — making it quite simple to plan for driveway or right-of-way access to sustain the most cost-efficient land usage.”

The land is now zoned Residential under Waipa District Council’s urban plan. This classification allows for the creation of dwellings on sections of a minimum size of 500sq m.

Grice says the potential subdivision is in part of Cambridge town that is steeped in sporting history — offering plenty of greenfield playing space for the children of new families who will eventually be living in the enclave.

“The playing fields across the road are home to Cambridge United Football Club, nicknamed ‘New Zealand Arsenal’, after its strip was based on colours and designs of the famous North London club.

“The club has been playing football at the John Kerkhof Park since 1967. John Kerkhof was an early and much-respected former club president who was instrumental in building those original clubrooms and changing facilities,” says Grice.

“Then on the other side of the road is the horse racing track — which dates back to 1944, when a group of local businessmen and returned servicemen back from World War II, met in the old parish hall and formulated a plan to bring equestrian racing sport to Cambridge.

The Cambridge Raceway facility is now one of New Zealand’s premier harness and jockey racing amenities.

“If other ‘greenfield’ residential developments around New Zealand are anything to go by, there is a strong likelihood that the next chapter in this block’s history could well draw its name from this area’s rich sporting heritage … or its links to quarrying.”