Residents line up against proposed plan change

Commissioners (from left) Gavin Lister, Gary Rae (chairman) and David McMahon hearing evidence at...
Commissioners (from left) Gavin Lister, Gary Rae (chairman) and David McMahon hearing evidence at the hearing into plan change 13 in Cromwell yesterday. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
Several Cromwell residents, property and business owners yesterday implored commissioners to decline a rezoning that would allow a 900-lot development near the town to go ahead.

Cromwell volunteer firefighter Ian Anderson told commissioners considering the application for a change, chairman Gary Rae, Gavin Lister and David McMahon, one of his major concerns was the narrow roads in the Winton Group's proposed River Terrace development.

"These roadways will be crowded with householders' and visitors' parked cars, boats, trailers and caravans, and there is only a proposed provision for one off-street car park per property.

"I have had personal experience of not being able to access an address for an emergency because of blocked roads, significantly delaying our attendance by several minutes to save life and property, when every second counts," Mr Anderson said.

Cromwell resident Julene Ludlow has had a connection with Cromwell for more than 45 years and lives on a section that was once part of an orchard.

"I support appropriate medium and even high-density residential development in the correct context ... and [this development] is quite simply the wrong size in completely the wrong place."

In his submission to the commissioners, Central Motor Speedway advocate Graham Williamson said the "negative impact" of 900 houses and 2300 residents on the surrounding orchards, Highlands Motorsport Park and the Central Motor speedway must not be underestimated.

"Forty percent of Cromwell's population trying to exist beside orchards and not one, but two motorsport facilities, that's got trouble written all over it."

"Think about it just for a second ... Over 450 objectors, [including] the Cromwell Community Board and Central Otago District council, and numerous expert witnesses all against plan change 13."

Former Cromwell Self Storage owner and farmer John Lister asked why the high cost of housing for Queenstown and Wanaka workers should be deemed to be Cromwell's problem to fix.

Kawarau Gorge Rd resident Hilary Lennox lives directly opposite the site of the proposed plan change 13 and the intersection of Sandflat Rd with SH 6.

An experienced cyclist, Ms Lennox raised concerns about the increased traffic that would result from the River Terrace development and the likelihood the number of crashes would increase on local roads.

She said living next door to the speedway and motorsports park was noisy but "I have never made a complaint about this, because I accept the speedway was here before me, but I don't know if people living closer would be so accepting."

Cromwell resident Shirley Calvert described her area of expertise as "Cromwell".

"I was born here and lived a good portion of my life here ...I could be considered in an informal way as an expert on living in Cromwell, as too could all the lay people who submitted to this proposed plan change.

"It is my hope that in the interests of natural justice our submissions, speeches, values, views and local knowledge are given due consideration, when you listen to us, deliberate and come to a decision."

In response, Mr McMahon said Ms Calvert's expertise and other lay persons' expertise was "extremely important".

The hearing concludes today.

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