Polytech proposal backed by CODC planner

An architect’s impression shows the proposed development at Central campus, in Bannockburn Rd,...
An architect’s impression shows the proposed development at Central campus, in Bannockburn Rd, which is on the left of the image. IMAGE: MCCOY WIXON ARCHITECTS
A proposed four-staged development of the Central Campus polytechnic site near Cromwell should be approved, the Central Otago District Council's senior planner says.

A report from Oli Monthule-Mcintosh to the district council's hearings panel says the "master plan" proposed by the Otago Polytechnic represents "a number of positive effects for the district and beyond" and recommends the application be approved, with conditions.

The application from the polytechnic for land use consent to erect buildings and use the site as the polytech's Central Otago campus will be heard by the hearings panel in Alexandra on July 16.

The polytech has proposed a 10-year plan to expand its Bannockburn Rd facilities and relocate some of the operations from its Cromwell site there.

The four-stage "master plan" would add a new cooking and hospitality building, incorporating a retail cafe/restaurant open to the public; a retail outlet for the existing brewery; a distillery, comprising a teaching facility and retail outlet; new propagation facilities, including retail sales of plants grown on-site; and other new student learning spaces and administration areas.

Stage one of the development included the construction last year of a $1.5million student accommodation complex and a new $1.5million trades and craft brewery building.

No pricetag or specific timeframe is given for the next expansion, but the polytechnic was seeking a "flexible consent", due to "the staged nature of the development, and the polytech's practical need to adapt its programmes and activities over time", the application, from Mitchell Daysh Ltd, on behalf of Otago Polytech Ltd, said.

Mr Monthule-Mcintosh said in his report the positive benefits of the proposal would include economic benefits, education and training contributing to the supply of skilled workers, and the provision of more study opportunities in the district.

The Bannockburn Rd location of the polytech campus, on the fringe of rural resource area, was appropriate for the horticultural focus of much of the training, while also maintaining "high level of connectivity" to Cromwell, he said.

He said the construction phase of the project would cause some nuisance and loss of amenity to neighbours, but this would be short term, and the adverse effects would therefore be no more than minor.

Effects on visual amenity, traffic, noise and of retail activities would also be no more than minor.

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