Frankton to Nawton / Dinsdale – Local Dairies

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Even though the Frankton area is predominately industrial, with a low population density, it is the starting point for this survey of local dairies in the north-west of Hamilton. This post is looking at area north-west of the rail line.

The intention of the writers of the District Scheme was not to make neighbourhoods less walkable. The two images below from the 1977 planning advice show there was an intention to plan from the top down, because planners considered there to be a ‘(9.3) … lack of cohesion in areas of past suburban expansion’ and ‘(9.5) In the past the extent and location of many of these non-residential uses has been determined … almost at random and certainly in comparative isolation from other uses’.

Hamilton Regional Planning Scheme June 1977 pages 44 & 45 – Library Ref: 711 309 931 15 HAM

The advice in above images includes ‘9.8 … it would be perfectly feasible to calculate area’ and ‘9.9  it is estimated that in the situation of Hamilton a growth cell containing 4,000-5,000 people with its own neighbourhood shopping centre and two primary schools would be [the] optimum size …’. Looking at development north of Ellicott Rd, we see a neighbourhood with Nawton Mall isolated from regional roads and it does have two primary schools similar to planning scheme ideal. Note: there were no supporting local dairies included as land was developed to the west or north. Fraser High School was opened on Ellicott Rd in 1970 and four of the five dairies around the edge of Nawton opened before the late 1970s planning advice. The exception is the shops on the corner of Dominion Rd / Avalon Drive, which opened in the early 1980s.

Retrolens Historical Image Resource 

The Dinsdale shops are an untidy set of shops, like the Nawton Mall shops, which has an independent Best Fresh and The Meat Co.   Competing with the Dinsdale Countdown supermarket, which opened in the late 1970s, are Bin Inn, Magic Fresh, two dairies and a good number of food outlets. Of note: there are no supporting local dairies in the land developed west of the Dinsdale roundabout shops (Poaka Ave).

The exception in Dinsdale is the shops on the corner the corner of Tuhikaramea Rd / Gibson Rd, which opened in the early 1970s.

The reason there are fewer local dairies west of the Dinsdale shops and Nawton Mall is the district planning rules first introduced in the 1960s. In the table above, the green section shows the 1877 area of Frankton; the orange section represents  the time during which cars became more common to the point they completely replaced horses on our streets, and the brown section is after the introduction of the District Scheme / Plan. Looking at the orange area, covering Swarbrick to the area called Dinsdale North, the average number of people per dairy is about 1400. The introduction of the car did not reduce the economic sustainability of the local dairies in the orange area: it was the District Scheme/ Plan rules that made the opening of new dairies too difficult.

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