Wellington forestry land suits subdivision

4:12 PM Friday March 16, 2018 True Commercial

Located northeast of Porirua, Judgeford Forest comprises 95.6ha of professionally managed forest. Photo / Supplied

A substantial 140ha forestry block with future residential development potential north of Wellington is for sale through Colliers International.

Located in the hills northeast of Porirua, Judgeford Forest has a 95.6ha stocked area of professionally managed forest.

The agency’s forestry director Warwick Searle says the land — for sale by deadline private treaty, closing 4pm on Thursday April 26 — offers buyers the best of both worlds.

“Judgeford Forest has a large freehold site and a substantial tree crop, half of which is ready to be harvested almost immediately,” he says.

“The landholding also has excellent residential subdivision potential, with stunning sea views over the Mana Coast and easy access to the Transmission Gully motorway under construction nearby.”

Searle says the forest is only 35km from Wellington’s CentrePort — the lower North Island’s main port, which has excellent log export facilities.

It was primarily established in the early 1990s — along with a small stand from 1970 — and is predominantly pinus radiata, with some douglas fir.

“Judgeford Forest has been professionally managed by Forme Consulting for many years,” Searle says.

“The trees appear to be in excellent health, with a silviculture history including waste thinning and pruning on the vast majority of the crop. More than half consists of 26 to 27-year-old trees that can be harvested soon, providing the owners with income almost immediately.”

Searle says about half the crop has already been harvested and the areas replanted in 2000, 2011 and 2013.

“A new owner can benefit from an extensive existing network of harvesting and plantation infrastructure, including internal roads and on-grade ATV tracks.”

Searle says the Wellington region is well known for producing excellent tree crops because of its good soils, climate and fairly even yearly rainfalls.

“The industry is well serviced by forestry professionals and contractors alike due to the significant forest resources in the region.”

Numerous domestic timber processors in the surrounding regions include Juken NZ and Kiwi Lumber in Wairarapa, ATS Timber and Mitchpine in Levin, Foxpine in Foxton, and Goldpine in Feilding and Dannevirke.

Mike Laven of Colliers Wellington says the site’s easy access adds to its appeal as a forestry asset and future subdivision site.

The land is accessed from Flighty’s Rd to the west of the block, or from Moonshine Rd to the east, both connecting to State Highway 58.

“Visitors to the forest can’t help but notice that construction of Transmission Gully, the new four-lane, 27km motorway, is underway, close to Judgeford Forest,” Laven says.

“Two new link roads from the motorway will connect to SH58 and eastern Porirua, making access to Wellington and the north much easier and more efficient for future residents in the area.”

Laven says the recent development of several lifestyle blocks close to Flighty’s Rd, near the boundaries of Judgeford Forest, attests to the popularity of lifestyle block living here.

“As Transmission Gully’s 2020 opening comes closer, interest in the area can only accelerate as the benefits of a rural location and an easy commute become more apparent.

“Porirua City Council’s own Structure Plan estimates demand for 350 lifestyle blocks in the immediate area over the next 20 years. The plan proposes that each residential block is a minimum of 4ha, but as access improves, council may consider reducing the minimum size.

“Visitors to the forest will notice that from some vantage points there are great views back to Porirua Harbour and beyond to Mana Island, Cook Strait and across to the South Island.

“The forest is also superbly located close to the Porirua suburb of Whitby, which benefits from very high average incomes. This shows the area has immense appeal to a wealthier demographic.”

Laven says the forest’s new buyer will be able to plan the creation of residential blocks with confidence, given the success of other recent lifestyle block sale programmes, or to keep the forest as just that – a private haven that can provide long-term income.

“Or, perhaps most likely, a bit of both.”