Concert plan to take 4000 at vineyard

The Canyon restaurant building sits on the Bendigo site where it is proposed functions and...
The Canyon restaurant building sits on the Bendigo site where it is proposed functions and occasional concerts will be held. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Concerts for 4000 people could be hosted at a million-dollar development in a remote corner of Central Otago.

The Canyon Vineyard Ltd has also applied to host functions for more than 600 people and have more than 30 helicopter landings and take-offs a month at its Bendigo property.

The company has applied to the Central Otago District Council for resource consent for winery activities, restaurant events and "occasional" helicopter landings on a 21.25ha site in rural resource-zoned land in Chinaman's Tce, off Bendigo Loop Rd, between Tarras and Cromwell.

The application, prepared by Central Resource Management, considered there were "no special circumstances" that required public consultation, and it should therefore proceed on a non-notified basis.

The council disagreed and notified the application, advertising for submissions.

Hayden Johnston, of Dunedin, is the sole director and shareholder of The Canyon Vineyard Ltd.

Mr Johnston said the venture would be a "great showcase" for Central Otago, and have limited effects because of its remote location.

He said he had spent about $1million so far on the project, which would not need any new buildings constructed but would use a restaurant already on the site.

The building, originally the Big Picture wine-tasting venue at Cromwell and then the Nose Restaurant at Highlands Motorsport Park, was transported to the Bendigo site in 2016 and Mr Johnston had modified it since then.

He bought the land on which the building stands in 2002, from Bendigo Station, and established Tarras Vineyards on the site.

The application says it is proposed to use the building for wine tastings and functions - the main building can accommodate about 500 people and an attached auditorium about another 110.

The applicant did not want to be limited to certain days of operation, but it was proposed most events would be between Friday and Sunday inclusive.

It was also intended to host "infrequent" concerts at the venue, for up to 4000 people. The concerts would finish no later than 2am.

Mr Johnston said he anticipated the business would operate primarily with pre-booked functions and events.

He did not know how many concerts would be held but said it could be one a year.

"I'm thinking big and we'll see what comes of it."

Vehicles for all events would access the site from State Highway 8, followed by a 1.5km drive along Loop Rd and a 2km drive along a private access road.

Parking for 61 cars and nine buses, and overflow parking for larger events, would be provided.

Helicopter access is also proposed for weddings and "heli-lunches". There would be no more than 16 landings and 16 take-offs per month, all in daylight hours.

A noise assessment done by Powell Fenwick said Mr Johnston had advised there was an exemption that allowed temporary concerts to take place as of right, but an assessment of noise from a particular concert scenario had been done "for completeness".

Powell Fenwick did assessments for concerts of 4000 people or 8000 people, and said "larger/louder" events could "exceed notional boundary noise limits".

Based on the site's remote location - the nearest neighbour was 900m away - and the infrequency of the concerts, concerts might "still be reasonable", with "appropriate controls".

A separate acoustic assessment on the helicopter landing area was done by Malcolm Hunt Associates.

Submissions on the application close on August 15.

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