Plan change accepted; to be notified

A Proposal to provide 2400 homes in an area larger than central Queenstown will be opened to public consultation after a Queenstown Lakes District Council subcommittee unanimously accepted the private plan change request yesterday.

RCL Queenstown Pty Ltd asked the council for a private plan change to rezone about 520ha of land within the Jacks Point Resort zone into a new special zone called Henley Downs.

Consultant planner Vicki Jones told strategy committee members the rezoning would enable an increase in residential development from 1300 residences up to 2400.

Ms Jones' presentation about Henley Downs said most of the 520ha would be retained as open space, described as the ''agricultural, conservation and recreation area''.

The zone was separated from the Lake Wakatipu waterfront by lakeshore landscape protection area. The restoration of wetlands within the zone would be encouraged.

Some urban activity areas were more sensitive than others and required building platforms.

The urban development areas was divided into 11 building blocks near State Highway 6.

The existing Woolshed Rd was proposed to be the driveway spine of both Henley Downs and Jacks Point and it was an issue for the New Zealand Transport Agency and the council to decide its form, committee members heard.

Ms Jones said the preference was to keep commercial activity centred around the existing Jacks Point Clubhouse.

Committee chairman Leigh Overton asked what the timetable was for ''private plan change 44: Henley Downs''.

Ms Jones said the proposal could be publicly notified as soon as possible and the results back to the council by late July or early August. It was then a matter of how long it took commissioners to reach their decision.

Council policy and planning general manager Philip Pannett said the duration would also depend on the submissions received.

Ms Jones said the council could make a decision before its district plan was due to be notified, in October this year.

The tabled recommendation to accept private plan change 44: Henley Downs and proceed it to notification was carried.

Henley Downs was rezoned from rural general to Jacks Point Resort zone in 2003. Although an outline development plan was approved in January 2009, enabling 460 lots, development did not begin.

Kawarau Falls Bridge commissioners Denis Nugent and Jane Taylor said in their report released earlier this month, about the importance of the construction of a replacement structure, that 3400 dwellings would be constructed south of the bridge by 2026.

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