Wanaka rezoning hearing progressing
A private plan change hearing got under way in Wanaka on Monday which could see 1600 residential units built in a pocket of undeveloped land in the town. Plan Change 45 would allow rezoning 219 hectares of rural general and rural residential land to a special zone for medium and low-density residential housing as well as large residential lots and a commercial neighbourhood. The proposed Northlake development includes land north of Aubrey Rd, towards the Clutha River, with Outlet Rd running through the site. A total of 125 public submissions on the plan were received by the Queenstown District Lakes Council when submissions closed in September, the ‘‘majority in opposition’’. On Monday planning lawyer Warwick Goldsmith, acting on behalf of applicant Michaela Ward Meehan, said ‘‘the area proposed to be rezoned is perfectly located to cater for anticipated future growth within Wanaka. ‘‘Rezoning will naturally lead to change. That is not necessarily adverse,’’ Mr Goldsmith said. However, a council report recommended limiting the number of residential units in the proposed area to 710. Mr Goldsmith said that decision was ‘‘clearly an inefficient use of this land resource’’. Meehan, who owns the majority of land subject to the plan change, was working with three other landowners towards the rezoning. During the hearing concerns were raised about a small commercial area at Northlake undermining other planned commercial areas in the town, including the Three Parks commercial centre. Mr Goldsmith said ‘‘this issues arises in relation to the submissions lodged by Central Land Holdings Ltd, John May, and Paul Croft and Patrick Waser (Croft and Waser)’’. Allan Dippie, who was the director and shareholder of CLHL was also the director of Willowridge Investments, the property developer behind Three Parks, Mr Goldsmith said. In part of the submission it was said ‘‘CLHL is concerned that the Northlake plan change may facilitate a new commercial area and undermine the other commercial areas in the town’’. Mr Goldsmith said that ‘‘no weight can or should be placed on this submission’’. The hearing was expected to run for six working days, including three days of submissions, finishing today, from the applicant.