De­ci­sion on Frankton Flats looms

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By GRANT BRYANT

A fi­nal de­ci­sion on the fate of Queen­stown’s most sought-af­ter, con­tro­ver­sial piece of land is expected in the next few months. That land, the Frankton Flats, is the last avail­able flat land suit­able for large-scale re­tail de­vel­op­ment in Queen­stown and so far has a Pak ’n Save su­per­mar­ket, Mitre 10 Mega store and mega mall in­clud­ing a Count­down su­per­mar­ket, slated to be built on it. Com­bined, the projects have a value top­ping the hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars mark – and the po­ten­tial to cre­ate hun­dreds of jobs. Part of the land is no­to­ri­ous for be­ing the site of ‘‘Hendo’s Hole’’ the failed de­vel­op­ment of a ‘‘Tus­can Vil­lage’’ type de­vel­op­ment which was to in­clude ‘‘work­ers’ ac­com­mo­da­tion’’ and a large for­mat re­tail cen­tre. All that even­tu­ated from the failed de­vel­op­ment was a huge hole, which was go­ing to be used as an un­der­ground carpark - which has been dubbed Hendo’s Hole af­ter the de­vel­oper be­hind the failed ven­ture, David Hen­der­son. Adding to the land’s value and the wran­gle of what should be built there, is the fact that Queen­stown’s Eastern Ac­cess Road, join­ing the Frankton Flats and

A view of the Frankton Flats from The Re­mark­ables Range. The flats could soon be dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent and highly de­vel­oped – de­pend­ing on the out­come of the Plan Change 19 re­zon­ing de­ci­sion, which is im­mi­nent. Re­mark­ables Park, will in­ter­sect the area. The road will skirt around the end of Queen­stown Air­port’s run­way – of­fer­ing mo­torists spec­tac­u­lar views of the Sho­tover River delta, and the un­der­car­riages of planes as they come in to land. The $6.46 mil­lion road will get rid of the no­to­ri­ous crash black spot at the in­ter­sec­tion of Glenda Dr and State High­way 6. Work on the road is due to start next year. A new site for Wakatipu High School is also planned for Re­mark­ables Park and is expected to open af­ter 2017. The key to un­lock­ing the land is Plan Change 19, which has ef­fec­tively turned the Frankton Flats into a plan­ning twi­light zone. Since the mid-1990s the land has been zoned as ru­ral gen­eral. Af­ter 10 years of in­de­ci­sion on whether the Frankton Flats needs to be opened up for large-scale re­tail de­vel­op­ment, and nu­mer­ous En­vi­ron­ment Court hear­ings, the plan change 19 de­ci­sion is now im­mi­nent. Plan Change 19 seeks to pro­vide ur­ban zones within the Frankton Flats to en­able ur­ban de­vel­op­ment to take place. The coun­cil is ap­peal­ing the right for the Mitre 10 Mega store to be built, even though it won the right to pro­ceed in the En­vi­ron­ment Court – and there has been spec­u­la­tion that if the En­vi­ron­ment Court rules in favour of re­zon­ing the coun­cil will drop its ap­peal.

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