Wakatipu Basin study con­tin­ues

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - MAR­JORIE COOK

Chunks of the rural Wakatipu Basin could be­come ‘‘ur­ban park­land’’ if an in­de­pen­dent re­zon­ing pro­posal finds favour with the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil.

Ar­row­town coun­cil­lor Scott Stevens says the pro­posal has ‘‘sent pretty much ev­ery­body into a tail spin’’, while Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil plan­ning and reg­u­la­tory man­ager Tony Avery said it was a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant de­par­ture’’ from the Wakatipu zone.

But be­fore any­thing goes ahead, coun­cil staff will re­view the Wakatipu Basin Land Use Report com­mis­sioned last year from Auck­land based con­sul­tants Barry Kaye As­so­ci­ates Lim­ited, Brid­get Gil­bert Land­scape Ar­chi­tec­ture and StrategEase.

The coun­cil has re­leased the report ‘‘for in­for­ma­tion pur­poses only’’, with the rider that it ‘‘does not rep­re­sent the coun­cil’s view at this time’’.

Coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously re­solved last week to note the con­tents and in­structed staff to re­view it and report back with a plan­ning re­sponse.

Any changes would take more than a year and would in­clude a call for pub­lic sub­mis­sions and a pub­lic hear­ing, pos­si­bly in 2018.

Queen­stown plan­ner Ben Far­rell said dur­ing the pub­lic fo­rum it was his per­sonal opin­ion the report was ‘‘good, solid, ro­bust’’ and urged the coun­cil not to drag the process out.

Be­cause the report was in­de­pen­dent, there was a good case to adopt it, he said.

‘‘I have a con­cern if staff spend too much time think­ing about what is right, no one will get it right . . . There’s some strong rec­om­men­da­tions and I would like to see them hap­pen rea­son­ably quickly,’’ Far­rell said.

The report presents a sce­nario that could halt un­de­sir­able in­cre­men­tal devel­op­ment in the rural zone.

Mayor Jim Boult said the report was ‘‘very com­pre­hen­sive’’ and ‘‘well de­vel­oped’’.

He asked Avery why the coun­cil should not seek a pub­lic re­sponse to it.

Avery said pub­lic com­ment could be ‘‘less well or­gan­ised’’ and it was im­por­tant to hear from a se­ries of pub­lic in­ter­est groups.

While a pub­lic re­sponse might be help­ful, sub­mis­sions to the district plan re­view al­ready gave a clear view, he said.

FULL STORY: www.stuff.co.nz

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