Rezoning plan change supporters should 'ashamed'

Wanaka residents who support the rezoning of a large swathe of rural land for urban use should be ''very, very ashamed'', an opponent of the development says.

Architect Ken Warburton took aim at those behind proposed private plan change 45 (PC45) at a public hearing in Wanaka yesterday.

PC45 proposes a 219ha Northlake special zone providing for 1600 mixed-density housing lots between the Clutha River and Aubrey Rd, opposite Mr Warburton's home.

Requesting the plan change is Michaela Ward Meehan, of Sydney, who owns the largest portion of the land involved.

She approached three other neighbouring landowners with a proposal to prepare and present PC45 as a joint request. Two agreed, while a third elected to not be actively involved.

''PC45 is not what Wanaka wants,'' Mr Warburton told the hearing.

''It is about maximising the return to the developers, by the raping and pillaging of our natural environment by an overseas raider with no care for Wanaka and its environment, supported by some locals who should be very, very ashamed of themselves.''

Mrs Meehan's lawyer, Warwick Goldsmith, lodged an objection to Mr Warburton's comments and said Mrs Meehan's husband, Chris Meehan, was born in Winton.

Several other submitters spoke in opposition to the plan change and repeated references were made to the ''sea of house roofs'' it would create, which would degrade landscape views from neighbouring areas.

Aubrey Rd resident Elisabeth Muir, whose property backs on to the plan change area, spoke of the ''human factor'' in PC45.

''I have heard little concern expressed about the impact of this Northlake proposal for a plan change on the lives and the wellbeing, in fact on the ecology of us, the human beings, the fauna, who already inhabit this environment,'' she said.

''We all deliberately sought and chose a quiet, relatively unpeopled sanctuary of great natural beauty...

"There can be no possible mitigation for the effects on all of us in Aubrey Rd of becoming swallowed up by a suburban development.''

Lawyer Jan Caunter made submissions on behalf of a group of submitters living in the vicinity of the Northlake site. She called for the plan change to be declined and the future of the land to be instead subject to the upcoming district plan review process.

''This plan change is simply seeking to jump ahead of that review and to deliver substantial economic benefits to the requester at a cost to the wider community,'' Ms Caunter said.

She submitted there was no economic assessment provided by the Mrs Meehan of why the market needed the level of density proposed at Northlake or whether the development was even feasible.

The application anticipated the potential creation of ''a sizeable township'', not a natural extension to existing growth patterns, as Mr Goldsmith had described it, Ms Caunter said.

''There are no existing growth patterns in this part of Wanaka that reflect the quantity of development and the density of development proposed here.''