Resort's rezoning approved; 2400-home suburb?

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 20/03/2013

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A bid to rezone the Jacks Point area, opening the possibility that it could swell to a 2400-home satellite suburb of Queenstown, has been accepted by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

The request to rezone the area to allow residential building was put forward by Australian-based RCL Queenstown Pty Ltd, which owns the 520-hectare Henley Downs resort-zoned land block neighbouring Jacks Point, and was accepted by the council's strategy committee yesterday.

A consulting planner for the council, Vicki Jones, told the committee that the Henley Downs area "would not be as high-end" as Jacks Point, a subdivision with an attached golf course and plush restaurant and club house, open and recreation areas, and a man-made lake.

"Henley Downs will be integrated with Jacks Point through roading and pedestrian connections . . . and at the edges where they meet will aim for a similar look and feel," she said.

The rezoning would mean that the new subdivision would not have to mimic the Jacks Point model of "pod-like neighbourhoods with node-type" housing separated with wide spaces, and would be much higher density.

Cr Simon Stamers-Smith said the potential subdivision was not being claimed on a "needs basis" by the developers - meaning that Queenstown's growing population did not immediately require the additional housing it would supply. However, it would meet projected housing needs for the 2025 to 2030 period.

RCL Queenstown director and RCL Group Ltd chief executive officer David Wightman said yesterday that the move was positive.

"We are pleased that the council has accepted the plan change and now look forward to the project entering the next phase of public consultation."

Committee chairman Leigh Overton commented that the potential subdivision would fit within Queenstown's urban growth boundary when asking committee members to vote on whether to accept the private plan change, which was carried unanimously.

The council's general manager of policy and planning, Phil Pannet, said a hearing date was yet to be set, but would probably be in late July or early August, depending on submissions received during public consultation.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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