Divi­sion over ten­nis cen­tre

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - JOSHUA WALTON joshua.walton@odt.co.nz

PLANS for a pri­vately­funded ten­nis academy have caused a rift be­tween Queen­stown res­i­dents amid con­cerns it would have lit­tle com­mu­nity value and ruin the site’s ru­ral char­ac­ter.

Brides­dale Farm De­vel­op­ments Ltd has ap­plied for re­source con­sent to use its land for a 1ha ten­nis fa­cil­ity south of the Brides­dale Farm sub­di­vi­sion, near Lake Hayes, to be run by the Win­ton Ten­nis Academy.

Lake Hayes Es­tate res­i­dents said the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment would have a ‘‘detri­men­tal im­pact on res­i­dents’’, in­stead of pro­vid­ing for them, and would only add to traf­fic and park­ing prob­lems in the area.

Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil Parks and Re­serves stated it would ‘‘de­grade the land­scape char­ac­ter and dim­ in­ish the abil­ity of the recre­ation re­serves to ful­fil their pur­pose’’.

The academy would in­clude two ten­nis courts cov­ered by a light­weight struc­ture, built up to 11.7m above the present ground level, and six out­door courts.

A 2m­tall land­scaped em­bank­ment and in­for­mal seat­ing would sur­round the courts, with car park­ing fa­cil­i­ties also in the pipe­line.

In its sub­mis­sion op­pos­ing the plans, the Lake Hayes Es­tate and Sho­tover Coun­try Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion stated the de­vel­op­ment’s na­ture and scale was ‘‘con­sid­ered in­ap­pro­pri­ate for the pro­posed lo­ca­tion’’.

The group cited on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with the QLDC about po­ten­tial plans for the Wid­geon Pl re­serve to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity.

Tessa Payze, of Bathans Ln, said the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment ‘‘sets a dan­ger­ous prece­dent for com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment us­ing recre­ational re­serves and com­mu­nity spa­ces’’.

Crit­ics also ar­gued the size of the de­vel­op­ment and the cov­ered courts would breach build­ing height re­stric­tions in the zone.

A to­tal of 24 sub­mit­ters had op­posed the plans and 10 sub­mis­sions were made in sup­port as the Otago Daily

went to print yesterday. Queen­stown Ten­nis Club also backed the pro­pos­als in a let­ter as part of Brides­dale’s re­source con­sent ap­pli­ca­tion.

The de­vel­oper pre­vi­ously called for a 16.8ha sec­tion of its land and two neigh­bour­ing coun­cil­owned re­serves to be re­zoned for ‘‘ac­tive sports and recre­ation’’ as part of the QLDC’s pro­posed district plan (PDP).

Re­zon­ing the land from ‘‘in­for­mal recre­ation’’ would al­low it to be used for or­gan­ised sports ac­tiv­i­ties that re­quire spe­cial fa­cil­i­ties.

Brides­dale rep­re­sen­ta­tives told a PDP hear­ing panel in Septem­ber there was a need for more com­mu­nity recre­ational spa­ces in the re­sort.

The com­pany’s own de­sign con­trol guide­lines state the ‘‘stun­ning land­scape of Brides­dale Farm is de­serv­ing of pro­tec­tion’’.

IM­AGE: WIN­TON TEN­NIS ACADEMY

Grand plans . . . An artist’s im­pres­sion of the Win­ton Ten­nis Academy pro­posed to be built in Queen­stown by Brides­dale Farm De­vel­op­ments Ltd

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