A council planner's view a proposed 1600-lot Wanaka
subdivision should have its number of dwellings more than
halved has been backed by the Upper Clutha Environmental
Speaking on day three of a public hearing in Wanaka
yesterday, the society's president, Julian Haworth, said
development should be completely avoided in certain areas of
proposed private plan change 45: Northlake special zone
(PC45), as it would significantly degrade the landscape.
Mr Haworth said much of the subdivision, between Aubrey Rd
and the Clutha River, would be sited in less elevated and
sensitive landscape locations better able to absorb
development, which the society was not opposed to.
However, PC45 also ''unjustifiably promotes highly visible
residential development sprawling across elevated areas of
visual amenity landscape'', he said.
Development resulting from the plan change would be visible
from a number of well-frequented public places, including
State Highway 6 near the Dublin Bay turn-off, a reserve and
walking track on the north side of the Clutha River, the
Stephensons Arm area of Lake Wanaka and Mt Iron.
Mr Haworth said amendments made by the applicant to the PC45
structure plan - in particular an extension of the building
restriction area (BRA) - were an improvement on the original
version, but the plan was still ''too bitsy'' and
In terms of the size and location of the BRA, he preferred
the ''very clean'' approach taken by Queenstown Lakes
District Council consultant planner Vicki Jones, who has
recommended a maximum 710 dwellings, to be staged over 10 to
15 years from 2019, rather than the 1600 dwellings proposed.
''Where so many conditions are necessary to control effects,
one wonders should development be going in these places at
all?'' Mr Haworth said.
''I think the level of detail you need to go to for these
sort of things is what's been recommended by the planner's
Mr Haworth was ''unconvinced'' by earlier criticisms from the
applicant's lawyer, Warwick Goldsmith, of the planning
report's residential housing supply and demand assumptions.
''It is clear from the 2012 dwelling capacity model that
existing dwelling capacity is sufficient to easily cope with
residential demand for people who want to live in Wanaka for
many years to come,'' Mr Haworth said.
''Similarly, staging of the geographically more limited
proposal is necessary for the proposal to be consistent with
sustainable management and the purposes of the RMA.''
Independent commissioners David Whitney and Lyal Cocks will
hear from further submitters today.