Neil Webster is one of a large number of residents living
near Wanaka's proposed Plan Change 45: Northlake Zone who
are opposed to the development. He inspected the area from
a neighbour's Mt Iron property yesterday. An access road
for the initial stage of the subdivision is visible. Photo
by Lucy Ibbotson.
Wanaka residents living near the proposed 1600-lot
Northlake subdivision are rallying against the development.
Private Plan Change 45: Northlake Zone, proposes rezoning
223ha of land north of Aubrey Rd from rural general and rural
residential to a special zone, enabling a range of
residential lot sizes with an average density of seven houses
per hectare - a capacity of about 1600 dwellings.
The plan change was publicly notified at the start of this
month. The submission period closes on Friday.
Neil Webster, who owns a property in Anderson Rd, has helped
co-ordinate resident meetings encouraging submissions against
the plan change and said many property owners in the area
held grave concerns about its impact on traffic and noise
levels, and the loss of amenity values.
''It's going to be a sea of houses; it's just going to be
horrible,'' Mr Webster said.
''[PC45] changes it into a whole urban sprawl.''
The plan change was a ''landmark decision'' for Wanaka, yet
many property-owners, particularly those based out of town,
had ''not a clue'' what it entailed.
If the maximum possible development occurred, the housing
would cater to almost double the existing permanent
population of Wanaka, Mr Webster said.
Mt Iron Heights resident Ken Warburton, also ''totally
opposed'' to the plan change, agreed many people were unaware
of its scale.
''Most people I've spoken to were horrified when they found
out what is actually involved in the plan change - the lot
sizes and the extent of the subdivision.
''It really is like putting a big-city suburb in Wanaka and
people are very upset about it ... It's just spoiling the
whole environment around this area.''
Both men said expansion of the town was more appropriate on
the south side of Wanaka, where long-planned developments
such as Three Parks were under way.
''These guys are coming in and pushing the town the
completely opposite direction that everyone's been working 20
to 30 years to do,'' Mr Webster said.
He considered the consultation period inadequate, too.
''For such a big game-changer ... a month is ridiculous.''
However, QLDC senior policy planner Alyson Hutton said it met
the required timeframe for submissions on council or private
plan changes, which was a minimum of 20 working days.
A hearing committee will be appointed by the council to
assess the plan change and its submissions, before a decision
Michaela Ward Meehan, of Sydney, owns most of land subject to
the plan change, and is working with four other landowners on
Consented development at Northlake has already begun on 64
lots on 30ha, next to Aubrey Rd.