Laurel Bank land up for grabs

Another five residential sections are proposed on land surrounding the historic Laurel Bank House...
Another five residential sections are proposed on land surrounding the historic Laurel Bank House. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The owners of one of Queenstown’s most treasured properties have applied to subdivide the grounds.

Sheena Haywood and Stephen Brent are seeking to create five additional residential platforms on their 2 hectare section at Max’s Way, on which sits the historic Laurel Bank House.

Haywood and Brent painstakingly moved the 142-year old property — one of Queenstown’s first commercial accommodation properties — from its former site on the corner of Stanley St and Frankton Rd in February 2007, following which they undertook the mother of all DIY projects to reinstate it to its former glory.

Having also undertaken a massive landscaping project, the couple put theentire property on the market in October, 2022.

Noting Laurel Bank is still for sale, the couple have now decided to maximise the land around it by creating five more residential platforms on ‘Heritage Views’.

Subject to subdivision consent being granted, each of the new sections will range from 1501sqm to 1898sqm, while Laurel Bank will sit on a larger 1.239ha site.

Haywood says the land is "beautiful ... sheltered, flat and pretty unique" and boasts "epic views", while privacy is maintained throughout.

Four of the proposed new sections are in front of the homestead, with one to the rear, which looks "straight up to the Remarkables", all accessed via the existing driveway.

The decision’s been driven by the couple’s lifestyle changes, Haywood says.

"I’m away teaching skiing in the summer and Steve wants to play more golf and not mow lawns, so it’s just time and place ... we don’t need to hog it, [we can] share the love and let somebody else enjoy it as well.

"We’re not leaving town, we’re just going to reduce and go to something a bit smaller for us.

"It’s just kind of the next stage, really — it’s the only sure thing in life, change."

The sections are being marketed for sale by New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty — a sales blurb says titles are anticipated to be issued within nine to 12 months.