Matching supply with demand for residential sites in
Wanaka is an ''alien approach'' which keeps property prices
high, lawyer Warwick Goldsmith said yesterday during day one of
a public hearing for private Plan Change 45 (PC45).
The PC45 request has been made by Michaela Ward Meehan, of
Sydney, and proposes rezoning 220ha of land in Wanaka -
between Aubrey Rd and the Clutha River - from the existing
rural general and rural residential zoning to a new Northlake
It would allow for about 1600 residential dwellings, plus
some community and commercial activities.
After being publicly notified last year, the plan change
application attracted 125 submissions, the majority in
Consultant planner for the Queenstown Lakes District Council
Vicki Jones has recommended existing zones be used for the
Northlake subdivision and the maximum number of dwellings be
slashed to 710, with a minimum lot size of 700sqm.
She also recommended the first stage of development - around
440 sites, be delayed until 2019.
The balance would be further staged over the following 10-15
In his legal submissions, made on behalf of Ms Meehan and two
other landowners, Mr Goldsmith said the issue of demand was
at the heart of the hearing.
Submitters had claimed there was insufficient demand for
additional residential land to be rezoned and Ms Jones'
recommendations were largely based on the 2012 Wanaka
Structure Plan's predictions of future demand.
However, there were a range of factors which could influence
the town's growth during the next 20-plus year period which
could not be predicted now, Mr Goldsmith told independent
commissioners Lyal Cocks and David Whitney.
''Where Queenstown and Wanaka is going I don't think any of
us know ... but they [land buyers] are coming and they are
He said PC45's approach was to enable developers and
purchasers to make their own decisions about development
density and the rate of uptake and the council should also be
enabling, rather than restricting opportunities for people.
''Set the environmental parameters, let the people in the
market sort the rest out ... the whole approach of carefully
matching supply with demand is almost an alien approach ...
the only purpose of drip-feeding land into the market can
only be to maintain price.''
Increased supply was likely to lead to competition and lower
land prices in Wanaka, which was a ''major potential
benefit'' of PC45 not considered in Ms Jones' report, Mr
Ms Jones' recommended development outcome would result in ''a
nice place to live for a reduced number of people who can
afford property at the wealthier end of the price range''.
The six-day hearing continues today at Edgewater, where Mr
Goldsmith and a series of witnesses for the applicant will
give further evidence.