Opposition to planned hotel development

An artist's impression of the proposed Waterfall Park development's hotel reception and...
An artist's impression of the proposed Waterfall Park development's hotel reception and restaurant building. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Residents and campaigners have opposed plans for a 380-room hotel development in Arrowtown over concerns it will have "significant adverse effects on the environment" and nearby bodies of water.

Waterfall Park Developments Ltd applied for resource consent in April to build the hotel, a wellness centre and conference facilities within the Waterfall Park zone and on part of the adjoining Ayrburn land, near Mill Creek and Lake Hayes.

The company has already been granted notified consent for an 870m road to allow access to the proposed development from the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes road.

In its submission on the plans, the Friends of Lake Hayes Society claimed the application was "contrary" to the Queenstown Lakes District Council's policies and objectives in both its operative and proposed district plan, as well as the Otago Regional Council's policies and water plan.

"The proposal fails to achieve integrated management of effects of proposed land uses and development.

"A larger development foot print, a greater volume of excavated material and an extended development schedule would significantly increase the risks of sediment loss into Mill Stream."

The group's main concerns with the development included re-engineering and reconstruction works proposed at Mill Creek causing a "substantial disturbance to the stream bed", sediment loss into Mill Creek and Lake Hayes, flood management and the risk of climate change increasing hazard levels at the site.

It also recently called on the QLDC to implement a Lake Hayes catchment plan to ensure water quality was protected and monitored.

In a submission to a hearing panel considering the QLDC's proposed district plan in July, Waterfall Park called for land identified as the Waterfall Park Resort Zone and a 45.75ha section of its land, to the north of Speargrass Flat Rd, to be rezoned to allow further development of up to 200 residential units next to the planned hotel.

Rebecca Hadley, a trustee of trusts which own property on Speargrass Flat Rd, submitted that the company's proposals would effectively connect Arrowtown to the Lake Hayes residential zone and result in a "loss of sense of place" in both areas.

She said if Ayrburn Farm land was rezoned to be included in the lifestyle precinct zone, the "rural character buffer zone" between residential areas "will be eroded".

A total of 13 submissions were made on the application,

with 12 opposing and one seeking changes to the proposals.

Almost all of the submitters requested to speak at a

hearing considering the application.

Waterfall Park Developments Ltd is linked to Queenstown developers Chris and Michaela Meehan, who have had three proposals to develop the site rejected since 2015.

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