A winery boss can pop a bottle of fizz after getting permission to subdivide a swathe of Arrowtown land.
Mount Soho owners Ed and Carol Lamont can carve up their 42 hectares on the corner of McDonnell and Hogan Gully Roads for six homes.
Ed Lamont says: “We’ve carefully planned the houses to sit in comfortable places without creating too much effect on the environment.
“Once they come up and get a bit of growth round them I think they’ll fold in quite nicely to the land.”
The Lamonts have a home and the winery on the land at present.
“The grand plan is to realise some of my investment and reduce my responsibility to keep the whole big property in as good a condition as I’ve got it in.”
But neighbour Dame Elizabeth Hanan’s not too chuffed.
She believes the development, especially with a special housing area (SHA) retirement village planned across the road, will put pressure on infrastructure.
Hanan says: “We don’t want a Glenda Drive situation at that corner, the build-up of traffic.
“It’s getting to the point now of almost needing a roundabout.
“Is that going to be NZ Transport Agency or the developer because we’re going to need it.”
Hanan’s also concerned about the water supply and sewerage system.
“They’re going to connect to the Arrowtown water supply along McDonnell Rd and also the Norfolk Street sewerage station.
“Both of those are already at capacity now and needing upgrades.
“Is the ratepayer going to be saddled with those upgrades?”
Hanan opposed the application. She was also concerned about the visual impact.
But commissioners determined the land can absorb the proposed buildings.
Hanan would also like a voice at the hearing into the 12ha Arrowtown Lifestyle Retirement Village.
But that’s a government-approved SHA so only immediate neighbours can object.
“We feel they’ve used the wrong act,” Hanan says. “With the Resource Management Act everyone can have a say.”
Ed Lamont’s more philosophical about the changes, calling it “evolution”.
“Otherwise we’d still be living in caves like troglodytes.
“The world’s population has doubled in my lifetime and will again. Where are they going to fit in? Well, somewhere.
“If it’s done nicely everyone will get along.”