The Upper Clutha Environmental Society (UCES) says it
would be wasting its time attending next week's hearing for a
proposed Cardrona whisky distillery after a council planner
recommended the development be approved.
Zescent Group Ltd has applied to the Queenstown Lakes
District Council for consent to establish a museum and
distillery opposite the entrance to Cardrona Alpine Resort.
After receiving council planner Craig Barr's report
recommending the proposal be granted consent, UCES president
Julian Haworth advised the council yesterday the society
would not be at the hearing.
''I think we'd be wasting our time'' Mr Haworth told the
Otago Daily Times.
The society was not totally opposed to the distillery and had
noted in its submission the proposal had merit, Mr Haworth
However, it believed its ''considerable adverse visual
effects'' could be mitigated by moving the building to a
In her report, the council's consultant landscape architect
Helen Mellsop said although the ''visually prominent''
buildings would have adverse effects on natural character and
openness, the development could be absorbed in the proposed
location without significant adverse effects on the character
of the landscape or on people's appreciation of the valley
and mountain ranges.
''We don't understand how she reaches that opinion,'' Mr
''We can't see how the effects can not be significant and
adverse when it's [the proposed development] so prominent in
that outstanding natural landscape location.''
The society was also ''disturbed'' by the fact the
application was assessed by an Auckland-based landscape
architect who was unlikely to be sufficiently familiar with
the Queenstown Lakes district plan and local landscapes.
Mount Cardrona Station director Chris Morton was the only
other submitter opposed to the distillery.
His concerns related primarily to potential odour from the
operation and how it would affect his proposed development of
up to 1000 residential units within the Mount Cardrona
Station Special Zone.
Mr Morton withdrew his submission last month, providing the
council imposed conditions preventing objectionable odours
beyond the boundary of the development site.
However, Mr Barr noted in his report the control of odour was
primarily under the jurisdiction of the Otago Regional
Council and should consent be granted it ''may not be
appropriate'' for the district council to impose conditions
it did not have complete jurisdiction over.
QLDC resource consent manager Blair Devlin said although
there was no longer anyone who wished to speak in opposition
to the proposal, next Tuesday's hearing would still proceed,
''[to] give that higher level of scrutiny from independent
commissioners rather than just council staff ... given the
significance of the environment and the application''.