Plenty of zoned land - planner

Wanaka has enough zoned land to supply the housing market for decades to come and creating a new zone now which would provide 1600 more sections is ''too much, too soon'', an urban design expert has cautioned.

In a report to the Queenstown Lakes District Council on proposed private Plan Change 45: Northlake Special Zone (PC45), Auckland-based urban design consultant Ian Munro said in 30 to 50 years, growth needs in Wanaka would ''possibly'' support a yield in the PC45 area of up to the 1600 units proposed.

''[However] it is at this point too much, too soon to be supportable in urban design terms'', Mr Munro wrote.

''Such a large scale of development would facilitate a relatively isolated, stand-alone node that would undermine the vision for Wanaka as a compact, well connected settlement. Wanaka would need a permanent population in the order of 10,000 household units or 25,000 persons to support such a PC45 yield.''

There was already roughly twice the residential capacity needed in Wanaka, meaning that on average, existing zoned areas might achieve only 50% build until 2031.

''Diluting this further should be approached with caution.''

Addressing the public hearing for PC45 in Wanaka yesterday, Mr Munro said the plan change's proposed 1600 dwellings represented a 44% increase in the scale of Wanaka.

The maximum number of dwellings he considered justifiable was 552.

Earlier in the week, John Edmonds - the planning consultant for PC45's requester, made comments on the risk of land under-supply in Wanaka, which Mr Munro yesterday rejected.

''There is no plausible likelihood of this occurring without significant, and in my view fanciful, negligence on the part of the council.

''This is because it will take decades to consume available total supply and if the council continues its supply-demand monitoring as diligently as it has done to date, it will have many years of lead-in time to enable additional land use zones.''

PC45 proposes rezoning 219ha of land between Aubrey Rd and the Clutha River from rural general and rural residential zoning to allow for mixed-density housing, plus some community and commercial activities.

The hearing, before commissioners David Whitney and Lyal Cocks, will conclude on Monday.

- lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz