Film studio accommodation for workers opposed

Architect's drawing of proposed Silverlight Studios film-making facility near Wanaka. IMAGE: TILT...
Architect's drawing of proposed Silverlight Studios film-making facility near Wanaka. IMAGE: TILT ARCHITECTURE
As plans for a multimillion-dollar film studio on the outskirts of Wanaka progress, one of the owners of the land the studio is to be built on is opposing construction of worker accommodation on the site.

A fast track panel granted consent for the $280 million studio complex on December 8.

The studios will be built around an existing 11ha artificial irrigation lake on Corbridge’s 322ha farm near Wanaka Airport.

The panel has a deadline of February 4 to decide a separate accommodation proposal, which would offer hundreds of rooms to let within the studio buildings.

The studio consent conditions required Silverlight to join the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s potable water supply at its own expense, manage stormwater discharges and manage lake water quality.

The Otago Regional Council has also granted a permit to drill a bore on the Corbridge property.

Corbridge Estates manager Peter Marshall has filed a submission against the worker accommodation plan, saying water access was unavailable.

Mr Marshall said in his submission Silverlight engineers had advised the panel water rights were available, but they were only for irrigation and would expire in 2028 and 2035.

He also said Silverlight’s planning consultant had failed to reference that a major reason for Wanaka’s rental house shortage was because many houses did not meet healthy homes standards.

Mr Marshall is a director and 50% shareholder of Corbridge Park Ltd, which owns Corbridge Estates.

The other Corbridge director is Lloyd Ferguson who, with his wife Julie, own the other 50%.

Mr and Mrs Ferguson have not made a submission and Corbridge’s submission was signed by Mr Marshall.

Mr Marshall, who was on holiday in the North Island when contacted yesterday, said he could not comment about the accommodation consent process as he had not been taking notice of it during the holidays.

He said the opposing submission was made because accommodation was not originally included in talks about the studio’s application.

Silverlight Studios Ltd spokesman Mike Wallis confirmed the company had paid a deposit on the land and the agreement for sale and purchase was unconditional.

‘‘We are now in the process of moving into final design on the first stage of the development and forming new partnerships with companies and teams that will help us build this exciting creative and educational hub,’’ Mr Wallis said.

An EPA spokesman confirmed last week the appeal period for the December 8 studio decision ends on Thursday and the accommodation deadline was February 4.

The fast track panel invited submissions from 29 affected parties on the accommodation proposal and received 12 replies, including one accepted late.

Other submitters include the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Otago Regional Council, Queenstown Airport Corporation, Ngai Tahu, the Minister for Climate Change, two neighbours and the Mount Barker Residents’ Association.

Silverlight responded to the submissions by December 23.

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