Housing proposal rezoning hearing starts

19:01, Feb 10 2014

A private plan change hearing got under way in Wanaka yesterday for a project in which 1600 residential units could be built in a pocket of undeveloped land in the town.

Plan Change 45 would allow rezoning 219 hectares of rural general and rural residential land to a special zone for medium and low density residential housing, as well as large residential lots and a commercial neighbourhood.

The proposed Northlake development included land north of Aubrey Rd, towards the Clutha River, with Outlet Rd running through the site.

In August, the Queenstown Lakes District Council's strategy committee accepted the Northlake Wanaka Zone for notification and public submissions closed in September.

A total of 125 submissions were received, most of which opposed the plan.

Yesterday at the hearing, planning lawyer Warwick Goldsmith, acting on behalf of applicant Michaela Ward Meehan, said "the area proposed to be rezoned is perfectly located to cater for anticipated future growth within Wanaka".


However, a council report recommended that the maximum number of residential units in the proposed area should be limited to 710. Mr Goldsmith said that decision would be "clearly an inefficient use of this land resource".

Ms Meehan, who owns most of land subject to the plan change, was working with three other landowners towards the rezoning.

Concerns were raised about the small commercial area proposed at Northlake undermining other planned commercial areas in the town, including the Three Parks commercial centre.

Mr Goldsmith said "this issue arises in relation to the submissions lodged by Central Land Holdings Ltd, John May, and Paul Croft and Patrick Waser [Croft and Waser]".

Allan Dippie, who was the director and shareholder of CLHL, was also the director of Willowridge Investments, the property developer behind Three Parks, Mr Goldsmith said.

In part of the submission it was said "CLHL is concerned that the Northlake plan change may facilitate a new commercial area and undermine the other commercial areas in the town".

Mr Goldsmith said that "no weight can or should be placed on this submission".

The Southland Times