Town Belt houses to become dairy of  f ices

By Brendon McMahon
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Speculation that Westland Milk Products may be about to expand the footprint of its Hokitika dairy site further east, across properties on Town Belt East and Kaniere Road, has been dismissed by the company as “premature”.
The dairy company has been buying up adjoining property in the neighbourhood for the past five to 10 years, most recently to quell residents who had lodged, and then withdrawn, objections to the new D7 nutritionals drier project now under construction. This included the former owners of Hokitika Holiday Park, which is now owned and operated by Westland Milk, and an elderly Kaniere Road resident who has been allowed to stay on for a year.
Operations manager Bernard May said the company recently gave notice to tenants for two houses, opposite the new drier, so those houses could be used as project offices for the duration of the D7 construction project.
However, no decision had been made regarding the houses beyond the completion of the new drier.
“At the end of the project we’ll assess our options for the best use of these houses in the future,” Mr May said.
Any speculation that the company might be planning to expand its footprint across the road to incorporate the properties its owns on Town Belt East and along Kaniere Road was premature.
Mr May said Westland Milk was continually assessing the best use of its assets, short-term and long-term.
“Land is no different. These decisions will be made at varying times as circumstances and current project progress determine.”
Westland Milk bought the Town Belt properties within the past 10 years.