1000-section proposal questioned

Lake Hawea township - showing bare land in the top half of the photograph beyond pine trees, where a special housing area is proposed. Photo: Mark Price
Lake Hawea township - showing bare land in the top half of the photograph beyond pine trees, where a special housing area is proposed. Photo: Mark Price

Prominent Upper Clutha developer Allan Dippie has weighed in on the debate over a proposal for a special housing area (SHA) on the outskirts of the Lake Hawea township.

The proposal by developer Lane Hocking, owner of Universal Development, was the subject of a public meeting on Saturday morning attended by 140 residents.

Mr Dippie has been developing sections in the town since 2004 and he questioned the need for the proposal for up to 1000 sections almost directly across Cemetery Rd from his Timsfield subdivision.

Cemetery Rd is considered to be the town’s southern boundary.Mr Dippie said he had been "very careful" to time development with demand.

Lane Hocking
Lane Hocking

While Lake Hawea had been growing rapidly, "we can see the demand curve dropping off".

He expected to have sufficient sections until 2030.

"We’re not opposed to, once there is a certain trigger point, and it’s a long, long way away yet, of crossing that boundary.

"It might not be south.

"It could be somewhere else.

"The community has got to decide that."

He also suggested the proposed development would put a strain on the town’s water and sewerage infrastructure.

Mr Hocking responded by pointing out the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s 10-year plan included $12 million of funding to pipe Lake Hawea sewage to the council’s Project Pure treatment plant next to Wanaka Airport.

The council was also budgeting for improvements to the water supply.

"So we are reasonably confident what we are proposing south of the road will actually be covered, from an infrastructure perspective, from the council, as at today."

SHAs are intended to speed up house building and encourage affordable housing.

While the council is not required to consult the wider community when considering SHA proposals, councillors and staff attending Saturday’s meeting said the public would be consulted.

Allan Dippie
Allan Dippie

The founders of the Keep Hawea Beautiful group opposed to the SHA, Carmen Howell and Tim Ryan, in a joint delivery to the meeting, called for a "2050 plan to guide all future growth for the Hawea region".

And they called for a moratorium on all large-scale development consents until a plan had been created.

Lesley Burdon was one of those who pointed out previous plans developed between the council and the Lake Hawea community showed Cemetery Rd as the town boundary.

"I think it would be really sad to deviate too far from those plans."

Lake Hawea Community Association chairman Paul Cunningham said the policy at the moment was that Cemetery Rd was the boundary and "not to go over the road until we are full".

Other speakers at the meeting gave examples of the need for more affordable housing in Lake Hawea but believed the council should consider means other than giving consent to Mr Hocking’s proposal.

The proposal is due to go to the council within the next month.



It will be interesting to see if the Queenstown Council support the community instead of seeing this as another revenue opportunity to fund their $10b future plan. I believe Mr Hocking's offering may be too attractive for the Council to resist.

We have seen the Council chlorine Hawea water without a single care for what the locals think. This only demonstrates they do not trust their own people, systems or locals.

The Council may also think a Central Otago slum area is fine in Hawea as it is out of the sight of Queenstown and Wanaka. Hawea should push for quality of life and not allow any sections to be less than 600sqm. If there is no market because of the price then so be it. Using SHA as an excuse to by pass the community is wrong.

Wanaka and Queenstown people think we live in Hawea because it is cheaper. That is not right.... it is BETTER.

However, Hawea cannot even get the Council to install channel and curbing on our main road through the town, moreover the Council will come to any meeting they can make money from, so I think Mr Hocking has a good chance of getting approval as the Council has demonstrates money talks and has deaf ears for the residents.

A development of 1000 home lots would usually be a mix of medium and low density housing. Not everyone wants a large section, not everyone wants to live in a unit or townhouse.
A well developed, properly planned large development should bring more value to the whole community than 100 piecemeal developments. A large development such as this should incorporate a degree of public parks and open spaces, retail and the like. Features that small developments usually avoid including.
As much as some people would prefer it not happen, more people will move to Central. It is up to councils to ensure good infrastructure is provided for all residents, not just the few who live there now.



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