Topic: Lydford Place (TDN 20/05/2017)

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Lydford Place 

The village of Lydford in England stands near a gorge and the River Lyd. It was established as far back as the 10th century. The short, no-exit street of the same name, in Spotswood, can only trace its history back to the early 1960s.

By the mid-1950s a significant shortage of housing was evident New Zealand-wide. In the improving economy a boom in property prices, and therefore house building, was underway. There were several large new subdivisions being developed in New Plymouth.

The vacant land either side of Ngamotu Road was one such area. The first survey to plan Lydford Place, which also included Rosendale Avenue, was completed in January, 1961.

At this stage Rosendale Avenue was a short street which came to a dead end just beyond its intersection with Lydford Place. Only later would it be extended and in the meantime pedestrian access to Ngamotu Road was provided by a walkway at the end of Lydford Place. This walkway is now part of a network of walking and cycling paths in New Plymouth, known as ‘Let’s Go’, which encourages residents to leave their cars at home.

The area appealed to first-home buyers and house building companies such as Beazely Homes were particularly active, buying up several sections each, building and hoping to sell at a profit. In the pre-decimal currency days of the early 1960s, the average house price in New Plymouth was between £3000 and £4,000 – that’s $6000 to $8000. Today those prices seem cheap but, with relative incomes, and finance scarce, it was as much a challenge then to buy a first home as it has ever been.

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Lydford Place (TDN 20/05/2017)

City:New Plymouth