Contentious house near track gains approval

A proposed large dwelling near Wanaka which was deemed unsuitable mainly because of its visual effect on users of a nearby walking track has been approved.

Kate and Peter Martin applied last year for resource consent to build a 536sq m dwelling and ancillary buildings on their land at Little Mt Iron.

The property is in a rural general zone in landscape classified as an outstanding natural feature.

None of the four opposing submitters raised visual, landscape or amenity issues.

However, Queenstown Lakes District Council reporting planner Richard Kemp recommended consent be declined, largely because the visibility of the proposed dwelling from parts of the neighbouring Hidden Hills public walking track would degrade the experience of track users.

A hearing was held in October before commissioners Jane Taylor and Leigh Overton, who recently released their decision granting consent.

The commissioners said the proposed dwelling would be visible within views that already included existing residential development and several as-yet-unbuilt dwellings in the Hidden Hills subdivision.

All potential adverse effects, particularly in relation to landscape and visual amenity, would be adequately mitigated by the design measures proposed by the applicant and by the conditions offered or imposed, which included a volunteered covenant preventing future development and an ecological management and enhancement plan.

The positive effects arising from the proposal would have ''considerable compensatory value'', particularly in the outstanding natural feature context, they said.

''The proposed dwelling will provide for the economic and social benefit of the applicants while retaining and enhancing the naturalness of the remainder of the site for future generations.''

lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz