Wanaka rezoning gets green light
A plan change touted as an avenue for a future boom in Wanaka allowing residential, business and accommodation development was yesterday cleared by Queenstown Lakes District Council.
North Three Parks, backed by Ballantyne Investments, sought to rezone 46.8 hectares of rural general zoned land bordering the Wanaka golf course into mixed-use land through a plan change, which was publicly notified in March.
Yesterday the council's strategy committee ratified the plan change.
Council documents released in March said that the plan change was key for future growth in Wanaka.
"The forecasts for growth demonstrate that there will be a need for more housing land in Wanaka," a senior policy analyst's report said.
"It would be unwise to let the recent short-term slowdown in economic activity affect sensible long-term planning for growth."
Ballantyne Investments co-director and Wanaka resident Neil Matchett yesterday said the company would take a "stretch and grow" approach, and bring development on-line as and when it was needed.
"It makes sense to rezone, probably not so much now, but in the future Wanaka will need space to expand, and at least the plan change allows for that," he said.
"As most people are aware, economic growth has slowed considerably across the board in recent years, but the plan change does cater for future growth, which is bound to happen."
Rezoning the land was treated carefully by commissioners charged with making a final recommendation to the council.
Stipulations of any land being freed up for development included that there should be "clear evidence of sufficient demand before residential or business land is released," commissioner's report said.
When it came to land to be used for purely business purposes, the stipulations were even tougher.
"No business land should be developed in the plan change area until all available land zoned commercial in the Wanaka Town Centre and expansion of the commercial zoning has been developed."
Mr Matchett was happy with all stipulations, saying the development company had spent a long time on the plan change, and was prepared to wait until the time was right to bring any development plans into action.
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