Public workshops to provide lakefront project greater detail

Two public workshops will be held this month to provide more detailed information to Lake Tekapo residents on a planned project to redevelop the township's lake front, after a supermarket chain became the first party to buy land earmarked for development.

The Mackenzie District Council agreed in late April to put aside $160,000 (plus contingencies) to prepare a subdivision consent for a self-funding project that would redevelop a 1.2ha section between the retail centre and the lake edge.

Resource consent for the project, which would involve the sale of seven parcels of land, was granted on December 20.

Initial land sales, from stage one of the three-stage project, are expected to provide the council with $1 million of net revenue in the next 12 to 18 months, and Mackenzie Mayor Claire Barlow confirmed yesterday an agreement for the sale of one parcel of land to Foodstuffs NZ became unconditional on December 20.

Mrs Barlow said the value of the sale could not be made public because of commercial sensitivity, but added that it was sold ''at market value, based on a current valuation by an independent valuer''.

A conditional agreement for a second land parcel had been reached with the Youth Hostel Association, she said.

Foodstuffs property and retail development general manager Roger Davidson said although the company planned to build a Four Square supermarket, costs and the size of the planned facility had not yet been determined.

''The next step will be sitting down with the council in the next few weeks to establish timeframes for the public parts of the development.''

The growth of the township and tourism in the area meant there was an opportunity for an ''enhanced supermarket development'' in Lake Tekapo, he said.

Council finance manager Paul Morris said negotiations were also under way with two other parties regarding further lots of land.

''There is a steady stream of interest in the development, with registrations of interest from various businesses and people wanting to start business in Tekapo,'' he said.

Although the subdivision would involve no risk to ratepayers, because the council-owned land that would be sold was debt-free, two public workshops have been scheduled to allow for public feedback on the concept.

The workshops would take place at the Lake Tekapo Hall on January 15 and January 25, and would be chaired by Councillor Murray Cox, who is also the council representative on the Lake Tekapo Community Board.

Mr Cox said the meetings, which would be overseen by an independent facilitator, would provide opportunity for public feedback on the proposed development.

''The idea is that we will be bringing the public up to date with developments down on the Tekapo waterfront and what parcels of land have been sold and what the council have got in terms of concept.

''Then we are looking for feedback from the community as to what they think and what questions they have got that we might need to address - concerns and things.

''One of the things the council is wanting to do is to develop two of the sites themselves, which then gives the council the ability to develop those buildings in a style that might reflect Tekapo, so hopefully other developers look at those and then come round with the same concept.

"So we're wanting to know if locals agree with that and if the council should be involved with that sort of development,'' Mr Cox said.

Although some information had been made available to the public, so far it had not been the full picture, because of commercial sensitivity, he said.

''We're at at stage where we are certainly able to give the bigger picture now and get some feedback on the concepts that we have got.''

Community facilities, including landscaping and public toilets, would also need to ''dovetail'' into the proposed development, Mr Bell said.

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