Submission on police plan

An application to redesignate reserve land to build a new Wanaka police station has attracted just one submission, which opposes the facility.

New Zealand Police has long been planning the new station in Wanaka on the Queenstown Lakes District Council-owned recreation reserve in Ballantyne Rd, below the Department of Conservation building. It applied for resource consent in December.

Auckland man Roger Boyd has objected to the proposal.

He and his sister own a property in MacPherson St which overlooks the strip of land where the new police station would be built.

Mr Boyd said police should have a "strong visible presence in the area of greatest people-concentration", which made the present police station site in Wanaka's town centre "superior" to the proposed one, which was on the "town fringe".

The police application said the increase in both Wanaka's population and the number of police meant the existing station was "now too small to operate effectively".

However, Mr Boyd argued the current site was big enough to accommodate the proposed new building, which was single-storey and covered 549sq m including parking.

The 986sq m site in Helwick St had three vacant sections bordering it. The site also had town centre zoning, meaning the floor area of any structure on it could be up to 80% of the section size, and the structure could be two-storeyed.

Using land which had been designated as reserve land for several decades was also objectionable, Mr Boyd said.

"Changing the land use for an essentially commercial purpose seems ... unwarranted." He said when his parents bought the section in the mid-1960s for retirement purposes, McPherson St was a "very quiet residential street", but because of a "total failure of town planning", the street had become the main link between Wanaka's two industrial areas.

He objected to adding a police station - which would be manned from 7am to 11pm, 365 days a year - to the already "intolerable traffic and noise situation" in MacPherson St, and also questioned plans to develop the site in the future as a "civic hub" when it was not central to town.

Lakes Environmental principal planner Paula Williams said a hearing on the proposal was scheduled for April 3.


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