BBO was successful in obtaining the necessary resource consents for Rutherford Property Investments, for the subdivision and subsequent residential development of a brownfields site in Cambridge. 

The challenge

In 2015, Rutherford Property Investments approached BBO to assist them to develop a 2ha site on Williamson Street in Cambridge, that was previously occupied by the Cambridge Riverside Motel. 

This was Rutherford’s first development project, and their chosen site certainly had its challenges. The site was irregularly shaped, was sloping with difficult geotechnical conditions, and once the old motel buildings were removed, residual contamination issues were evident. 

The site was zoned residential and was subject to a compact housing overlay which better enabled a more compact form of residential development. The client’s brief was therefore to maximise the density within the site constraints.


The outcome

When the project started it was proposed as a comprehensively designed residential development consisting of a mixture of 46 detached and attached dwelling units, and a 3-storey apartment-style building.

BBO, the client, and the architect worked together with Waipa District Council to secure the necessary land use and subdivision consents for that development. 

Once consented, the client concluded that due to the site’s challenges, the build time, and the increased build costs, the proposed development was untenable. The development changed to a 24-lot fee simple residential subdivision serviced by a private road.

The new proposal itself had its challenges, as the lot sizes were significantly smaller than provided for in the Council’s District Plan.  BBO achieved a successful consenting outcome using an approved building envelope approach supported by a set of Design Guidelines that future landowners need to comply with.  Significant engagement with Council staff and adjacent landowners was key to the success of the consenting process.

Once consented, BBO applied value engineering - a key aspect of a complex construction process in a confined space, that required daily problem solving with the client and contractor. The outcome was the ability to reduce construction costs despite the complex challenges of the site.

Rutherford D 011 OUTCOME
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Pre- construction and post demolition of the Riverside Motel

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The site from Dominion Avenue pre demolition of the Riverside Motel

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Ada Close construction

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Site levels, road and site retaining

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Roundabout construction

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Road and footpath construction

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Ada Close Road

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Right-of-way view

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Aerial of private road and adjacent sections/houses