They came, they tried, they folded

The two companies which planned a large dairy development near Omarama have gone into voluntary liquidation.

Richard Peacocke, director of Southdown Holdings Ltd and Williamson Holdings Ltd, confirmed yesterday when contacted shareholders had decided to enter “solvent liquidation”, for both companies because the process for the dairy developments had become “too long, too hard”

. . . Millions of dollars were spent on the proposal, resource consents process and property development, although Mr Peacocke yesterday declined to be more specific.

Southdown proposed establishing six dairy farms running up to 7000 cows on Glen Eyrie Downs in Quailburn Rd near Omarama.

Williamson Holdings planned three dairy farms with 3850 cows on 1200ha of Killermont Station land on SH8 it had a purchase option over, subject to conditions.

The 2135ha Glen Eyrie Downs property, which has a Waitaki district rateable value of just over $5 million, has been offered for sale.

It was a big project and a big gamble.

Had it succeeded it would have provided a big boost to job opportunities in an area which is sparsely populated.

However it was environmental concerns which held sway.

There we’re reasonable concerns about the impact on water quality.

But a lot of the objections were founded on emotion by people who, if they visit the district at all do so travelling at 100 kph or more en route from Canterbury to Central Otago.

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