Amberley development under way

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;Show home .. Some new show villas are under construction at the Amberley Country Estate site. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By DAVID HILL

The Amberley Country Estate is set to be launched in the middle of this year.

Construction is under way on the $200 million retirement village, with the first units expected to be available by June or July.

The Hurunui District Council granted a resource consent last year, allowing for the development of the 16 hectare site over the next 10 years, but developer Tim Bartells expects construction to be completed in five years.

“There will be around 500 people in the village so it’s not a small imprint, but hopefully a very good one. We’ve got 16ha of land so this is not your typical retirement village with everything jammed in.

“Each unit will get a reasonable amount of land with landscaping, gardens and lawns as a feature, rather than having lines of villas joined together.”

Mr Bartells plans to build 250 units, ranging from 111 to 133 square metre two bedroom units up to 185 square metre three bedroom villas.

Consents for 17 units have been approved so far, with more being processed. The site will also have rest-home, hospital and dementia care onsite.

A 330 square metre temporary club house and residents’ facility is being built at the entrance to the village to provide a communal space for residents.

In time it will be replaced by a state of the art communal area, which is expected to include a bowling green, snooker, library, craft rooms, a men’s shed, virtual golf and beyond, Mr Bartells says.

Amberley Country Estate is located within easy walking distance of the town centre, which will allow residents to connect with the wider community.

The complex will be based on the Longridge Country Estate, which Mr Bartells is developing in Paeroa, Waikato.

While he cannot say for certain how many jobs the Amberley project will create, the Longridge development provides ongoing work for around 100 contractors.

“We try to use locals and we spend locally where we can,” Mr Bartells says. “Having that increase in population for the town is going to be significant.

“Typically what we find is people move from out of town because the units are attractive with their space and nice lawns.”

Around 45 percent of Longridge residents have moved in from Auckland and Mr Bartells anticipates a similar response from Christchurch retirees.