Fresh push for Queenstown hardware outlet

JOHN EDENS
Last updated 05:00 06/02/2014

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The backers of a development bid to bring a Mitre 10 Mega outlet to Queenstown have resubmitted a resource consent application.

Cross Roads Properties, wholly owned by H & J Smith Holdings, reapplied for consent to build the store amid continuing litigation and plan-change hearings for the Frankton Flats zones.

Lawyer Graeme Todd told commissioners that the proposal was similar to the original application, with changes around landscaping and the external appearance of the building.

Submissions said there was nothing to prevent resource consent applications while part of the district plan was subject to plan-change proceedings.

The store is proposed for land slated for industrial use, not retail.

Mr Todd said the main issue was the actual effect the proposed store would have on available industrial land in Queenstown. The plan change had been updated and the area available for industrial land increased, leaving the proposed store site taking up 3.3 per cent of industrial land within the Frankton Flats zone.

"There are numerous positive effects which will arise from approving my client's development," he said.

"[The] time has long passed where this fast-growing community should continue to be deprived of the benefits that an offering such as my client's will bring."

Mr Todd told the panel that the relevant part of the district plan, known as plan change 19, was one of the most prescriptive documents he had seen.

Far from being enabling, the plan was going to be a goldmine for lawyers and planners, he said.

"This has now been going on for seven years. We have had this land sitting out there when there is clear evidence of demand for business which . . . will have significant positive effects socially and economically for the residents of this district."

Cross Roads Properties' Jason Smith, speaking to The Southland Times, said the H & J Smith brand had been involved in Queenstown business since the 1980s.

"We take this market seriously, so we see quite a bit of growth in the region. There are frustrations. Is it easy? It's not easy."

In the background, Cross Roads and Pak'n Save parent company Foodstuffs have filed appeals to the Court of Appeal.

The litigation started with Environment Court resource consent approval for a Mitre 10 Mega and Pak'n Save, decisions that were appealed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown Central, which owns separate land slated for a supermarket complex.

At a subsequent High Court appeal, the consents were overturned and leave was granted to apply to the Court of Appeal.

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Resource consent hearings resume on Monday.

- The Southland Times

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