Roads will be ready for new centre, court told

New roads and roundabouts to service the development of Frankton Flats should be under construction within 18 months, the NZ Transport Agency says.

An Environment Court hearing began yesterday in the continuing battle for development rights on the last remaining large-scale slice of flat retail land in Queenstown.

The first of three one-week proceedings spread across this month and next month started before Judge Jane Borthwick and commissioners Ross Dunlop and David Bunting.

NZ Transport Agency southern planning and investment manager Ian McCabe said construction of roundabouts and roads was likely within the next 12 to 18 months.

"Glenda [Drive] has been slated for safety improvements for some time. That has been on the books for quite a while and it's looking like it's to be constructed in the next construction season.

"Fundamentally, we have agreed on the location. I am hopeful that infrastructure will be there to address the increase in traffic and well in advance of development."

Development conditions include the completion of roading infrastructure before any new buildings or services open to the public, the court was told.

Shotover Park is the owner of a land block slated to have a $50 million Pak 'n Save supermarket and Mitre 10 Mega, while Queenstown Gateway, run by developer Tony Gapes, is the owner of a site slated for a $125m mall with a Countdown supermarket as an anchor tenant.

Mr Dunlop said he seriously hoped the agency programmed financial resources that aligned with proposed developments and there was dialogue at senior levels.

Mr McCabe said road and roundabout connections were part of the National Land Transport strategy's latest three-year programme, which ends next year.

"In terms of the progress, I would anticipate the infrastructure should be in place in time for Mitre 10 Mega and Pak 'n Save and contributing parties are anxious to get that progressed."

The land bounded by State Highway 6, Glenda Drive, Remarkables Park and Queenstown Airport is the last large tract of flat land available for big-box retail in Queenstown.

The Frankton Flats zones have been at the centre of resource consent, Environment Court and High Court hearings, appeals and cross-appeals for the best part of a decade.

Rezoning designations also need to be resolved under the Queenstown Lakes District Council's plan change 19.

The Southland Times