Hotel in residential area not unusual, lawyer tells hearing

Warwick Goldsmith.
Warwick Goldsmith.
Building hotels in residential neighbourhoods was not uncommon, the lawyer acting for Northlake Investments Ltd, Warwick Goldsmith, told a resource consent hearing in Wanaka yesterday.

As a Wanaka example, Mr Goldsmith gave the Edgewater Resort where the hearing was being held, and there were others worldwide, he said.

Northlake is applying for land use consent for a 113-room hotel with restaurant, bar and gym.

Hearing the application are independent commissioners for the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) Ian Munro and Jane Sinclair.

Mr Goldsmith submitted the site of the proposed hotel was ''zoned for its purpose'' and the hotel was fully compliant, apart from a park for four coaches, which Northlake now proposed to relocate from the north side of Outlet Rd to the south side.

Mr Goldsmith provided the hearing with a master plan approved by the QLDC last month showing a 1.2ha reserve that included a tennis court.

The new court would be about 130m from the one now on the proposed hotel site.

Mr Goldsmith did not consider the tennis court issue relevant to the hearing but said Northlake ''acknowledged a prior obligation to provide a tennis court somewhere within the Northlake special zone and intends to fulfil that prior obligation''.

Mr Goldsmith said the existing tennis court was considered temporary.

Questioned by Mr Munro, he said it did not appear to have consent.

''It probably just got built.''

Explaining the lack of a swimming pool in the Northlake special zone, Mr Goldsmith said this was a ''good example'' of how people did not know about a complicated history.

When Northlake and the developer of Three Parks ''put up their hand'' as locations for a QLDC pool, the QLDC favoured Three Parks and the ''last thing'' the council wanted was a second pool.

Addressing concerns that those buying sections in Northlake were prevented from objecting over planning issues, Mr Goldsmith said such covenants were quite common to provide ''some freedom'' for developers to make changes over a long development period.

Development manager for Northlake Marc Bretherton said such covenants were ''the rule rather than the exception'' and those for Northlake were less restrictive than others he had seen.

''It's been a known policy from day one, and we don't shy away from it,'' he said.

A large number of submissions have been lodged against the hotel, many identical or similar.

Mr Goldsmith said the hearing was the first in his experience where social media had played a part, and the process was not about how many submissions were made, but what they said.

Some of the questions addressed at the hearing included noise, privacy for residents, provision for stormwater runoff, and traffic.

QLDC senior planner Sarah Gathercole has previously recommended consent be refused, subject to new or additional evidence being presented at the hearing, which is due to end tomorrow.



it just got built..

Now we know. Developers are laissez faire. Avoid.