Consent for projects at Wakatipu

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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After years of legal wrangles heard by multiple judges, resource consent has been granted to a $50 million Pak 'n Save and Mitre 10 Mega bundle on Queenstown's Frankton Flats.

The decision, made by Queenstown Lakes District Council independent commissioners Jane Taylor and David Clarke yesterday left key drivers of the project ecstatic.

Crossroads Ltd director and head of the well-known Southland Smith business empire, Jason Smith, said that while he was thrilled with the news, no timelines for the $20m Mitre 10 Mega would be established until an automatic appeal period of 15 days had lapsed.

"Naturally, we are absolutely delighted to have consent granted, which has been a long process, and thrilled to be one step closer to bringing the Mitre 10 Mega Store to the Wakatipu Basin," he said.

"Whilst we still have an appeal period to wait for our consent to be finalised, this news has been very well received by our staff in our stores, and we are sure news of this consent will be very well received in the local community as well."

South Island Foodstuffs general manager of property and retail development Roger Davidson said the $30m Pak 'n Save project would be a sure-fire bonus to the people of not only Queenstown, but the surrounding areas as well.

"We are delighted for the community of Queenstown, as we have just been granted resource consent for the Pak 'n Save supermarket in

Shotover Park, which brings the offer of lower grocery prices to the district a step closer. The development has been many years in the planning and to finally reach this stage is very pleasing."

Complicating the resource consent process was the Queenstown Lakes District Council's plan change 19 - which sought to rezone rural land on the Frankton Flats for mostly industrial use.

The Commercial Land Needs Assessment - a report commissioned by the council in 2006 - received withering analysis from commissioners Clarke and Taylor, who said that after thoroughly reviewing evidence and interviewing resource consent hearings witnesses they had reached an "inescapable conclusion" the Commercial Land Needs Assessment's projections were "grossly exaggerated", which had implications for Environment Court and High Court before decisions on Frankton Flats rulings.

". . . future industrial land requirements fall to approximately half of those projected by the CLNA . . . which have formed the basis for both the Environment Court's and High Court's concerns in relation to the loss of industrial land, [and] are grossly exaggerated and unreliable," the commissioners commented in both decisions.

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THE $50 MILLION BUNDLE

2012 estimates were that the development could create 310 fulltime jobs separate from those created by construction – 250 at Pak 'n Save and 60 at Mitre 10 Mega.

Foodstuffs South Island also owns New World at Remarkables Park.

During hearings the company has said it sees the two supermarkets complementing each other and serving two separate target markets.

The $50 million bundle will be part of a dramatic reshaping of the Frankton Flats, along with the $125m Five Mile Mall currently being built, and the $7m Eastern Access Rd, which will cut in from the Frankton-Ladies Mile highway, pass the mega-stores and join the end of Glenda Drive to loop around the end of of the Queenstown Airport runway and link with Hawthorne Drive at Remarkables Park, easing traffic on busy Kawarau Rd.


- The Southland Times

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