Strong opposition to plan change 39

With just two days until submissions close for plan change 39: Arrowtown South, most received by the Queenstown Lakes District Council are in opposition.

The private plan change seeks to establish a residential zone on 31ha of land on the southern edge of Arrowtown, on McDonnell Rd, allowing for up to 215 homes, a child-care centre, a convenience store and a cafe-restaurant.

Of the total area, 12.4ha would be set aside for open spaces.

QLDC senior policy analyst Karen Page said as of Friday about 200 submissions had been received on the plan change.

"It is [a large number].

"[For] some of the other ones we've had about 500."

Meanwhile, about 1170 leaflets were dropped in Arrowtown letter boxes last week by a group of residents, which said "If you love Arrowtown the way it is, you will need to oppose this plan".

Resident Peter Roberts, who was leading the charge for the submissions, said the Arrowtown South plan change sought to "completely reverse" plan change 29, proposed by the council, which seeks to keep the Arrowtown boundary tight.

"We cannot let this happen," Mr Roberts said in the leaflet.

He said the proposed plan change would: change the character of the compact town; contravene the council's growth management strategy; add another 400 vehicles into the "already congested" historic centre; undermine Arrowtown's tourist base and "reduce its growth potential"; overload existing infrastructure; "create further pollution in one of the most polluted water environments in New Zealand"; and "create a springboard for an even bigger development between McDonnell and Hogans Gully Rds" which "could possibly add another 300 houses or 1200 people".

"We have to stop this rush to expand Arrowtown.

"We need to rethink our town's growth strategy and improve its existing appeal, but first we have to oppose Plan Change 39 to develop Arrowtown South."

Mr Roberts told the Queenstown Times the flyer was aimed at reminding residents to make submissions before Wednesday.

"It's just a reminder to them what the situation is and what it could be."

The boundary expansion would reduce tourism, he said.

"Arrowtown as a brand has certain value that has been built up over 100 years. Arrowtown is a historic heritage area that draws tourists. Any further expansion of Arrowtown will effectively erode the attractiveness of a unique small village. Added with congestion, the village will become an area of suburbia," he said.

Arrowtown regularly had high levels of pollution during winter, which would get worse if more development went ahead because of increased home heating and more cars on the roads, he said.

No development was planned between McDonnell and Hogans Gully Rds, Mr Roberts said.

However, he thought it could be the "next step" if plan change 39 went ahead.

"In my view, each new boundary position becomes a springboard for something else. So the area between McDonnell Rd and Hogans Gully Rd could be the next step . . . for a bigger development than Arrowtown South," he said.

The Otago Regional Council scientist with pollution figures for Arrowtown over winter was unavailable for comment.

 

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