December, 2017 Update re Lavender’s Land / Roland’s Wood extension
From Simon Upperton, Friends of Roland’s Wood Charitable Trust Chairperson
The Friends of Roland’s Wood is pleased to announce it has received resource consent from the Far North District Council (FNDC) to subdivide four sections off Lavender’s Land and we will now move to take these to market in the very near term.
A real estate agency will shortly be appointed by the board and the sections will be advertised and sold in a transparent sales process.
We are delighted because this leaves over 80% of Lavender’s Land free for expansion of Roland’s Wood, a parkland area that is used and enjoyed by so many.
The Trust took on considerable debt to acquire Lavender’s Land and is selling the minimal number of sections commensurate with repayment of this debt, covering of development costs, and provision of capital to establish the parkland.
Once the Trust is debt free and sustainable our intention is to gift Lavender’s Land to the community by amalgamating with Roland’s Wood, thus creating one park to be managed by the Trust with oversight from the FNDC.
Lavender’s Land has considerable potential, although a large area is currently covered in tobacco weed and gorse. As we remove this and replant, a vast new area will be opened up to the public in 2018. There is plenty of planning and planting to be done in the coming years and we will be in a financial position to deliver significant projects.
Roland’s Wood also requires a lot of attention with many diseased and dead trees and we are pleased to have enlisted some very qualified and experienced volunteers to assist us. We continue to rely on volunteer support and welcome all to contribute their time and energy.
The work needed to obtain these resource consents has kept us all busy, so we have had little concrete news to report for a while. It has been a carefully considered process that conserves as much land as practical, whilst meeting our ambition of clearing our debts and being in a sustainable position by the end of 2018.
We have had considerable help from Haigh Workman and Thomson Survey in getting the resource consent application in and approved, and we thank them for their fantastic support. I would also like to thank the board members of the Trust for their tireless work in getting this far. A lot of work goes on in the background that goes unnoticed.
If you have any questions on any of the above, please contact Simon Upperton – Chairperson Friends of Roland’s Wood Charitable Trust, ph: 0211 917 427 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roland’s Wood and Lavender’s Land
Roland Sansom generously bequeathed “Roland’s Wood” to the people of Kerikeri, in trust with the Far North District Council (FNDC). Roland bequeathed the other half of his land to his sister, Lavender, who has also now passed away. This neighbouring 5.4 hectares of land, known as “Lavender’s Land“, was originally planted by Roland Sansom in many of the English style trees which still exist today, although the land has not been maintained.
Purchase by the Friends of Roland’s Wood Charitable Trust
In December 2015 the Friends of Roland’s Wood (FoRWT) formed a charitable trust in anticipation of taking over formal operational and financial management of Roland’s Wood, with oversight from the Trustee, the FNDC. This is currently a work in progress.
In December 2016 the FoRWT purchased “Lavender’s Land” from Lavender’s beneficiaries, with the aim, once debt-free and self-sustaining, gifting this land to the community and amalgamating it back into Roland’s Wood. The FoRWT then intends to manage the entire parkland, with oversight from the FNDC, and the target for this is the end of 2018.
The purchase was a major undertaking for the FoRWT, taking on a large debt of $437,000 to do so, but the opportunity was one not to be missed. Lavender’s Land not only extends Roland’s Wood, it also makes Roland’s Wood viable in terms of management, access and parking.
Purchasing Lavender’s Land :
- doubles the size of Roland’s Wood and re-incorporates Roland’s original plantings
- creates more natural boundaries for the whole park, following the contours of the land and continuing the water course in the valley down to the mangroves and the Okura River
- provides more parking for visitors and much safer access to the Woods away from the Inlet Road corner.
Roland’s Wood has covenants prohibiting any buildings or structures. Lavender’s Land allows scope for installing some built structures for maintaining the Woods, such as equipment /storage sheds, a water supply, toilets, as well as other facilities that would enhance the property for visitors, such as lookouts or viewing platforms, picnic areas, or a bandstand.
Other ideas for the additional land could include
- a large native planted area with tracks
- dog-free areas to encourage native bird life
- designated areas for small dogs, and maybe a dog agility zone
- a nursery bed for raising seedlings.
Selling sections to pay for the land
The debt is due by December 2018 and the plan to repay the debt is to sell four sections near the entrance to Lavender’s Land. The sale of these four sections will repay the debt, fund better access and parking for the Woods as a whole, and provide a healthy bank balance for future projects, such as those mentioned above.
Simon Upperton, a Real Estate agent, will manage the sale of sections on behalf of the Trust. His share of any commission has been waived. All sales will be done transparently and openly.
If you have any questions about this process, please contact Simon Upperton, Chair, or any member of the Friends of Roland’s Wood Trust.
As well as making prudent plans to sell the four sections to repay the debt, the Friends of Roland’s Wood are still fundraising. This is to service the debt and to see through the process of getting sections ready for sale, and if at any stage a benefactor would like to donate some or all of the funds needed to repay the debt, that would be wonderful!
Any donations are gratefully received. The Friends of Roland’s Wood bank account is ASB 12-3091-0010645-00