Developer wants land rezoned for residential project

An artist's impression, looking to the north, of the proposed Waterfall Park development's hotel...
An artist's impression, looking to the north, of the proposed Waterfall Park development's hotel reception and restaurant building.PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A developer has called for its land to be rezoned as part of a proposed district plan (PDP) for the Wakatipu Basin in order to allow a large residential development next to a planned 380-room hotel.

Waterfall Park Developments Ltd made a submission to a hearings panel at the Heritage Hotel in Queenstown yesterday, calling for land at present identified as the Waterfall Park Resort Zone (WPRZ) and a large section of its land to be rezoned to allow future urban growth.

The company proposed its land should ideally be included in a ``special zone'' rather than the rural amenity zone (RAZ) or lifestyle precinct - two zones in the PDP intended to protect rural land in the Wakatipu Basin by limiting developments.

In his evidence to the panel, planning consultant Jeffrey Brown said rezoning to allow urban development would ``contribute to the development of a prosperous, resilient and equitable economy in the district''.

The company proposed having its 45.75ha section of land, located to the north of Speargrass Flat Rd, west of Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd and south of Millbrook Resort, included in the revised zone, and that

its land should either be rezoned as the Ayrburn Zone or as part of the lifestyle precinct, as the next best option, to enable urban development of up to 200 residential units.

Its representatives told the panel that its land being zoned as RAZ under the PDP was not an option the company favoured.

There are currently two resource consent applications linked to the developer's land.

The first, made by Waterfall Park, was for a road between the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd and the Waterfall Park Zone to enable access into the zone and the Ayrburn land, and was granted notified consent last month.

The second application, made by Winton Partners, is for a 380-room hotel, wellness centre and conference facilities to be built within the Waterfall Park Zone and on part of the adjoining Ayrburn land.

Both Waterfall Park and Winton Partners are linked to Queenstown developers Chris and Michaela Meehan, who have lodged three other unsuccessful proposals to develop the Waterfall Park-Ayrburn site since 2015.

Panel member Trevor Robinson questioned how the proposed special zone and its infrastructure would cope with major urban growth, as well as a ``flood of tourism into Queenstown''.

One of New Zealand's biggest golf resorts, Millbrook Resort, which neighbours Waterfall Park in Arrowtown, has previously raised concerns about the council potentially allowing an ``inappropriate development'' on its boundaries.

In a separate objection, McGuinness Pa Ltd argued the submission seeks to ``support or promote subdivision and development'' on land zoned as rural general in the council's operative district plan.

Submissions concerning stage 2 of the PDP will continue to be heard by the four-member panel today and are expected to finish on Thursday.


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