Opposition to development growing

Opposition to a proposed luxury residential development at Damper Bay, near Wanaka, continues to mount with more than 50 public submissions lodged against a resource consent application by a group of businessmen.

Damper Bay Estates Ltd wants to subdivide its 193ha of land to create a three-lot, two-house development, at Damper Bay on the western shore of Lake Wanaka about halfway between the town and Glendhu Bay.

Landscape watchdog the Upper Clutha Environmental Society took out a full-page advertisement in a community newspaper recently, which provided a template for public submissions to be made in opposition to the Damper Bay proposal.

Lakes Environmental resource consent manager Rachel Beer said yesterday afternoon she had received 47 public submissions at the council's regulatory and planning authority's Queenstown office. Only three of those were made "conditionally" supporting the six-house development, Ms Beer said.

"There's some pretty good lengthy submissions among the pile I've received. We're expecting more to arrive from Wanaka," she said.

More than 20 submissions had been lodged at the Queenstown Lakes District Council's Wanaka service centre yesterday, before they were couriered to Queenstown, a council staff member said.

A significant number of the submissions lodged in Queenstown against the proposal were on the duplicated forms, Ms Beer said.

The UCES has only once before, several years ago, taken the step of advertising for public submissions to be made against a controversial development, a residential home proposed on Roy's Peninsula by the Matukituki Trust.

The Matukituki Trust was eventually able to build on a site at Roy's Peninsula after a costly and lengthy legal battle, which involved the QLDC and several appeals through the courts by the UCES.

The directors of Damper Bay Estates Ltd are listed as Craig Heatley and Trevor Farmer, both of Auckland, and Queenstown Airport Corporation chairman Mark Taylor.

The Damper Bay site has an Outstanding Natural Landscape designation under the QLDC district plan zoning regulations, which means the strictest planning laws apply.

A three-day resource consent hearing has been set down from December 13 for QLDC planning commissioners to consider the application, Ms Beer said.


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