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One of the applicants behind a proposed mixed use development next to Mt Iron in Wanaka has told a resource consent hearing the only economic use for the land if it remained rural would be a chicken farm.
A two-day hearing took place in Wanaka this week.
On day one on Wednesday Mt Iron Junction Ltd director Stephen Schikker said he bought the 5.8 hectare triangular block three years ago with a vision to address key issues facing Wanaka such as a lack of accommodation for workers.
Mr Schikker told commissioners Ian Munro (chairman), Jane Sinclair and Jane Taylor he had decided to have the soil tested and found it was "not a great soil type".
He said he had "checked out" what the land could be used for in a rural sense and could only come up with a chicken farm "which would be six large sheds 165m long, 16m wide and seven metres high".
The proposed development site was bordered by state highways 6 and 84 to the east and south and adjoined the Mt Iron recreational reserve.
In his evidence, counsel for Mt Iron Junction Ltd Joshua Leckie said the overall character of the environment around Mt Iron was no longer visually coherent in a rural sense due to the diverse zoning and varying density of development.
He described it as a landscape in transition.
Mt Iron Junction Ltd was seeking resource consent to develop the site in two stages: stage one would consist of ten workers’ units, a service station, terrace housing comprising 17 two and three bedroom units, a childcare centre and a mini golf facility.
Mr Schikker told the hearing "the worker accommodation issue was quite dear to me because I am a retailer and I hire staff and it is almost impossible to find accommodation for them".
Thirty-six submissions were made on the resource consent application; 25 were in support, five were neutral, and five were opposed. One additional opposing submission was withdrawn.
Mr Munro said the commissioners would base their decision on planning, urban design, landscape and traffic issues.
Mr Leckie said his client had made it a requirement that a proposed roundabout at the intersection of SH6 and SH84 would have to be constructed and operational before buildings enabled by the consent could be occupied.
A council spokesperson confirmed the hearing was adjourned on Thursday, and the commission was waiting as the applicant had a right of reply. "Once [a reply] has been received the Commission will review all the information and make a decision as to whether the hearing can be closed."