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Former quarry which helped build Waikato’s roading network is placed on the market for sale

Tags: Commercial

A former sand quarry - where fine grit was extracted and used to construct many of Cambridge’s first sealed roads at the turn of last century - has been placed on the market for sale.

The 1.6 hectare block (more or less) immediately adjacent to both Cambridge Raceway horse track and the Vogel Street football grounds in the town was once one of the biggest sand quarries in the region. Product was extracted between the years of 1900 – 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 streets was literally a bonfire pyre – with much of Cambridge’s household waste burnt off in the quarry pit.

Throughout that period, Cambridge’s central business district and surrounding residential subdivisions continued to radiate outward from what was the original colonial-founded town hub. At the start of the 1900s, Cambridge town centre was nearly a kilometer from the race track and former quarry.

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

The rectangular-shaped block is owned by Waipa District Council and is now being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Cambridge, with tenders closing on April 27.

Bayleys Cambridge salespeople Karen Grootscholten and Kelly Grice said the block comprised three individual land titles – with potential 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 700 square metres each under a one-site format,” Ms Grootscholten said.

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

“For any residential development configuration though, the location has the substantial benefit of being potentially 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 currently zoned residential under Waipa District Council’s urban plan. This land use classification allows for the creation of dwellings on sections of a minimum size of 500 square metres.

Kelly Grice said the subdivision’s location was in a part of Cambridge town steeped in sporting history – offering plenty of greenfield playing space for the children of new families who would eventually be living in the enclave.

“The playing fields across the road are home to Cambridge United Football Club – nicknamed the ‘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 the club’s early and much-respected former president who was instrumental in building those original clubrooms and changing facilities,” said Ms 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 on this block’s history could well draw its locational name from this area’s rich sporting heritage… or its links to quarrying.”

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