Decision to be appealed

A property developer behind Wanaka's proposed secondary town centre at the ambitious Three Parks development has appealed against several conditions contained within the Queenstown Lakes district plan decision.

Wanaka property developer Allan Dippie's company Willowridge Ltd has lodged an appeal with the Environment Court over conditions imposed on the Three Parks development by the council.

Willowridge's notice of appeal claims that the Three Parks commercial core subzone - where 10,000sq m of land and floorspace for a secondary town centre and "big box" retailers will be allowed - is too small.

The council's District Plan Change 16 decision scaled back a requested 12,000sq m for the commercial sub-zone to 10,000sqm - a condition which Willowridge claims was made without any expert analysis to support such a reduction.

Mr Dippie said the reduced area available for the first release of commercial retail was insufficient to support a viable number of large format retailers.

"It's incredibly costly and difficult to this type of large-scale development.

"You really do need a certain amount of space to encourage retailers to commit to the project and provide a sufficient quantity of scale," he said.

The reduced area would cater for "two or three" large format retailers, whereas economic studies from Willowridge contended about "four or five" retail companies were more viable.

"You want a good number out there to attract customers and also other smaller businesses," he said.

An "enormous amount" of infrastructure, such as roading, would be built at Willowridge's expense and the company sought a "more reasonable" level of commercial space to make Three Parks viable, Mr Dippie said.

"We're happy with the majority of the council's decision.

"We want to tweak and iron out about 15 points to help us with the overall `build-ability' of Three Parks."

Three other appeals have also been lodged against the council's plan change decision.

Environment Court case manager Chris Jordan said notice of appeals had been lodged from Firth industries, Mt Cardrona Station, and Ballantyne Investments.

A pre-hearing date between the appellants and the council would be finalised once an appeal notice period deadline was reached on May 7, Mr Jordan said,Willowridge had been planning the Three Parks development for the past eight years, Mr Dippie said.

"If you told me then we still would not have anything started now, I wouldn't have believed you," he said.

Willowridge hoped to be able to negotiate with the council on several points of the plan change, he said.

QLDC commissioners Gillian Macleod, of Queenstown, and Leigh Overton, of Wanaka, issued a recommendation of approval to the QLDC in December for Plan Change 17 - Three Parks, before councillors voted to adopt their report.

The 100ha Three Parks site is located on the outskirts of Wanaka, beneath Mt Iron, and bounded by SH84 and Ballantyne Rd in the southwest.

It includes provision for a secondary commercial retail area precinct and more than 750 housing units, which includes 140 tagged for an affordable housing scheme.


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