A revised plan for a possible subdivision on Wingatui Racecourse land, which attempts to reduce the visual impact of the subdivision and make it more park-like following concerns from nearby residents. Image supplied.
The Otago Racing Club has a battle on its hands over its
plans to subdivide part of Wingatui racecourse.
Residents of the Dunedin suburb strongly oppose the club's
proposal to subdivide the Gladstone Rd North edge of their
property into 12 residential sections, saying it will ruin
the rural feel of the area.
The club has previously said it wants to subdivide to raise
capital for improvements to course facilities.
It believes the effects of the subdivision would be no more
Of 16 submissions made on its application to the Dunedin City
Council earlier this year, 13, mostly from Wingatui
residents, were in opposition.
The feedback prompted the club to call two subsequent
meetings with submitters, which resulted in a revised layout
for the subdivision being submitted to the council, although
the Otago Daily Times understands strong community
concern over the proposal remains.
The concerns about the application, which also seeks to
rezone the land for the sections from rural to residential,
were largely similar.
Wingatui residents worried about the loss of rural outlook
and amenity, urban creep and wider planning implications,
increased traffic and loss of parking when there were already
issues in the area on race days, a precedent being set and a
lack of consultation.
Several said they had bought their properties because that
area was zoned rural.
''We bought our property for its rural outlook and we
expected it would stay that way,'' David and Janice Hodges
said in their submission.
Caroline Hunter and Tony Heptinstall said the ''rustic
ambience and lifestyle choice'' offered by living in Wingatui
and areas similar to it in Dunedin were disappearing and
there seemed to be no overview of what was happening.
''People who live here ... don't want to live completely
surrounded by houses - nor do we. That's not why we chose to
''There must come a time when the [DCC] makes a decision a
rural zone (and boundary) can have integrity, can be relied
upon, can remain intact. There is a bigger picture to be
considered here ...''
Another resident agreed the district plan rules were ''being
bent and changed too often'', while many were concerned about
''If one lot starts, what is to stop ongoing rezoning?''
Karen Robson asked.
Some were also annoyed the club publicly said it had
consulted residents, but none recalled being made aware of
the proposal before the council sent them copies of the
Members of the Wingatui Community Hall Society said they
supported the club but the subdivision would have a major
physical effect on the area.
While it said it wanted capital, the club's desire to sell
off bits of its land was clearly to keep itself afloat and
was simply ''delaying the inevitable'', their submission
It should combine with the Forbury Park Trotting Club, sooner
rather than later, and the council should decline the
application on the basis of protecting the district plan's
integrity, the society's submission said.
The Otago Regional Council opposed the project until the club
showed how it was going to secure the area against natural
hazards of the area, including flooding and land instability.
The Fire Service was neutral and one person, a builder from
Dunedin, supported the club's plans.
The application, which was initially expected to be heard in
May, will be heard by a council hearings panel on August 29.