Slimmed down residential proposal goes before court

Jon Jackson.
Jon Jackson.
Should more residential development be provided for outside the urban growth boundary of Arrowtown and, if so, what is the appropriate density, were the questions posed in the Environment Court yesterday.

A slimmed down version of Arrowtown South, the proposed housing development for the last large greenfield site in Arrowtown, was presented to the court in Queenstown yesterday. Private plan change 39 was originally accepted by the Queenstown Lakes District Council in November 2009.

The plan change sought to rezone 30ha of rural general land to provide for residential, village and open space development.

It also sought to extend the urban growth boundary proposed in plan change 29.

The Environment Court approved the urban growth boundary as proposed by the council in PC29, but curbed the PC39 rezoning sought by Arrowtown South proposers.

Following its decision on PC29, the court was called on to declare if a revised PC39, at a reduced density, was still within the scope of PC39 as lodged.

The court declared it was.

Appellants, Cook Adam Trustees Ltd and Roger Monk, owners of land to the south of Arrowtown between McDonnell Rd and Centennial Ave, yesterday lodged a revised and ''much diminished'' PC39.

It proposed a reduction in density from the original 226 dwellings to 19 urban residential allotments with some room for further subdivision inside the amended urban growth boundary on McDonnell Rd, and 23 residential allotments, including one existing dwelling.

The revised plan also included protection of the escarpment face, protection of the stream, walking and cycling paths, landscaping and minimal internal roads and crossing points.

''The appellants submit that the reduction in density of the amended PC39, together with the retention of open, unmodified space, remedies or mitigates the adverse effects of urbanisation identified by the court in the PC29 decision,'' counsel for the appellants Ian Gordon, of Wellington, told Judge Jon Jackson and commissioners yesterday.

Parties to the appeal are Dame Elizabeth Hanan and Murray Hanan, present in court yesterday, who said they were also representing the absent Paul Hanan and Judith Hanan, plus J. Rutherford, Neville Caird, the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Arrowtown Village Association incorporated society.

Judge Jackson voiced the concern of the Hanans that ''Arrowtown has been creeping for years'' and Arrowtown South approval permitted more subdivision in the future, Mr Gordon said planning provisions were prepared with that concern in mind and would identify any further buildings as non complying.

However, the judge said the measures only lasted as long as the plan or the next resource consent application.

Judge Jackson asked Mr Gordon if the appellants would volunteer a covenant to guarantee there will not be further subdivision, which would assure interested parties and shorten cross-examination of witnesses.

The first witness for the appellants was ecology and biodiversity specialist Dawn Palmer, who said there had been a kotaku sighting a few kilometres south of the residential site in 2005.

The hearing continues this week.