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The way has been cleared for a large residential and hotel development on Mt Cardrona Station.
The Environment Court has upheld a decision permitting the rezoning of 131ha of Cardrona Valley land.
In 2009, the Queenstown Lakes District Council approved plan change 18 for 131.6ha owned by Mt Cardrona Station Ltd, but another Cardrona developer, Brooklynne Holdings Ltd, appealed to the Environment Court, mainly because of concerns over landscape principles.
In June last year, the court upheld the decision permitting the rezoning of the land but amended the plan change in several places to tighten rules relating to, among other things, activity areas, the prohibition of development on an escarpment close to Mt Cardrona Rd, and planting and ecology programmes.
Mt Cardrona Station Ltd was directed to lodge an amended set of objectives, policies, rules and structure plans for the Mt Cardrona Station special zone. These included amendments to plan provisions for a public walkway in Homestead Gully.
After receiving the requested amendments, the court confirmed the QLDC plan change decision this month.
"We're pleased because it's taken a long time," Mt Cardrona Station director Chris Morton, of Auckland, said.
The decision will go to the council for ratification on October 25, before plan change 18 becomes fully operative. Mr Morton could not confirm when the development might proceed.
"We're processing a number of subsidiary issues around the site to do with infrastructure and that sort of thing."
Mt Cardrona Station holds consents for a 844-unit residential and visitor accommodation development. A large portion - 93.1ha - of the land owned by the company will remain open space.
Brooklynne owns land in the Cardrona Valley and has resource consent to create a range of visitor and residential accommodation.