You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Two large retailers took a giant step towards establishing themselves in Queenstown following a decision by two independent hearings commissioners released yesterday.
Commissioners Jane Taylor and David Clarke, both of Queenstown, conditionally granted Mitre 10 Mega and Pak'n Save resource consent to build stores in the Shotover Park development on the Frankton Flats.
The battle between developer Alistair Porter, chief executive of the Porter Group, and the Queenstown Lakes District Council to have the site rezoned dates back to 2011 and has been heard by the Environment Court, the High Court and the Appeal Court.
The consents were granted to Foodstuffs (South Island) Properties Ltd and Cross Roads Properties Ltd to build, respectively, Pak'n Save and Mitre 10 Mega stores under the condition the stores are not opened to the public until the intersection of State Highway 6 and Glenda Dr is reconfigured to be a left hand turn-in only and a roundabout is installed at the intersection of State Highway 6 and the new Eastern Access Rd.
The consent also outlines opening hours for the stores and strict conditions for the design of the buildings.
Mr Porter said he was ''delighted'' with the decision by the commissioners and predicted it would bring a ''massive amount of economic development to Queenstown'' and ''create an enormous amount of employment''.
''Getting these stores established through the planning process has taken an extraordinary and unnecessary amount of time and cost for all parties,'' he said.
''We have been battling for many years. I'm delighted for the applicants and I'm particularly delighted for the community of Queenstown.''
He was working to make sure the roading required for the big businesses to open was completed by winter 2015. The changes to Frankton Flats roads, being built in conjunction with the New Zealand Transport Agency, would improve road safety and convenience for road users, he said.
Attempts last night to contact Queenstown Lakes District Council chief executive Adam Feeley were unsuccessful, as were attempts to contact Cross Roads Properties Ltd and Foodstuffs (South Island) Properties Ltd.
Mrs Taylor said in the consent decision to ''decline consent ... in the face of the substantial body of evidence in support of large-format retail activities ... would be inappropriate''.
''In summary, we find that the proposal will promote economic growth in the Queenstown district and will allow the community to provide for its social and economic needs,'' she said.