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The Otago Daily Times has assessed all 310 submissions on the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s proposal to add the Ladies Mile to its special housing policy.
They show roughly equal numbers either firmly supporting or opposed to the idea, with a small number giving qualified support. If councillors approve the proposal at their meeting on
Thursday, they will open the door for development proposals, under special housing rules, for what is now mostly pastoral land on either side of State Highway 6.
A council master plan for the area, released in June, shows up to 2800 medium- and high-density homes could be accommodated in a 136ha area.
Councillors must consider staff advice that a near doubling of the number of existing houses in Queenstown and Wanaka will be required over the next 30 years.
Also weighing on their minds will be last month’s Government offer of $12.6million in interest-free loans and accelerated funding for water infrastructure and roading to support new housing in the area.
Submitter Stuart Victor said he understood people’s desire to live in the resort "but just like any other resort town in the world, it is not affordable for every person".
"People are not forced to live in Queenstown. There are many other towns and cities in the South Island better suited to development without affecting their beauty, and where people can live affordably."
Jonathan Clark said the proposal was an "easy option" for the council to alleviate housing pressure, but when the Wakatipu Basin ran out of flat land it would look "more like Auckland than Central Otago".
"By proceeding with this proposal, the council is helping erode the very reason people want to visit this place or live here in the first place."
Alicia Mather said Queenstown did not need more houses.
"Do you not realise that in 20 years’ time there will be no-one wanting to live in or visit Queenstown any more, as the beautiful country town that people are flooding here for will no longer exist if the growth continues on the scale it is at the moment."
Laura Brown said the Ladies Mile was the main road into Queenstown: "Once it is turned into housing, this cannot be taken back."
However, Claire Todd said more homes in the Ladies Mile was a great idea.
"Frankly, you would have to have rocks in your head if you still believe the fiction about a rural approach to Queenstown — that disappeared in the ’90s."
Max Perkins said there was so much housing in the area already that more was just a "natural progression".
"It would be a great step forward to making Queenstown for everyone and not just some."
William Jin said the Ladies Mile was a "good option" for building houses to accommodate Queenstown’s growing population.
"More people means more jobs, more shops and public services, like a bigger hospital."