Rezoning to enable convention centre

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has proposed a zoning change that will extend the resort's central business district across its favoured site for a convention centre.

In a move that chief executive Adam Feeley says will provide a planning framework for the convention centre and address a shortage of CBD land, the council yesterday initiated a district plan change to rezone about 13ha of council-owned and private land as ''town centre''.

It is one of a series of moves earmarked by the council to help it advance a convention centre at the Lakeview site.

The council decided last month to press ahead with the proposal subject to factors such as securing capital funding above its own $32.5 million contribution, amending its long-term plan and considering alternative ratings models.

Mr Feeley said although the convention centre was a factor in the zoning change's timing, it was ''always on the cards'' that the CBD be extended towards Lakeview.

The change was an ''independent and wholly separate process'' from the council's investigations into a convention centre, and would allow the land to be better utilised for commercial, community and residential activities.

''Whether by stealth or ad hoc decision-making, bits of the CBD or commercial activity that should be part of the CBD have happened elsewhere. There needs to be a far more coherent and well-planned area of development.''

The rezoning change will define a convention centre within the district plan, which means it will require a resource consent as a restricted discretionary activity in the town centre zone, and would be processed as a non-notified application.

Although there was a focus on commercial development, the new designation would enable a mix of uses, including high density residential development, Mr Feeley said.

Other uses were visitor accommodation, a retail and hospitality precinct and public recreation space.

''If the Lakeview site is rezoned to enable a mix of activities, it will significantly improve the affordability of the proposed convention centre because of the additional revenue which could be generated from other, complementary activities on the site.''

The retail and commercial space proposed for the Lakeview site was about 6500sq m, which compared with about 40,000sq m of existing CBD retail space, and 120,000sq m of land zoned retail or commercial in Frankton.

Therefore any ''threat'' to the CBD in terms of competition came not from development on the Lakeview site but from further developments at Frankton, he said.

As well as the Lakeview site, the proposed rezoning will cover two blocks of privately owned land now zoned high density residential between Lakeview and the existing CBD.

Property owners within the areas proposed for rezoning, or who own property next to the areas, have been given until July 30 to provide feedback.