Battle ahead for Bridesdale


Queenstown’s fast-tracked Bridesdale Farm subdivision has been all but snapped up - even before it’s got consent.

BayleysLocations agent Jimmy Allen confirms there are agreements to buy all but eight of the 147 sections.

But council documents reveal tough questions ahead of a consent hearing this month.

Council staff and consultants raise concerns about the water supply, extra work needed on building foundations on certain sites, to prevent earthquake-related damage, and the possible sameness of house designs.

Plus, neighbours are kicking off about myriad issues - especially traffic, parking and the lack of affordable houses.

The developer’s consultant planner John Edmonds says it is inappropriate for Bridesdale Farm Developments Ltd to comment “at this stage in the process”.

Bridesdale is the first special housing area in Queenstown - a fast-track made possible by a law change. The finer details for this area are covered in an accord signed between the Housing Minister and Queenstown’s council.

While minister Nick Smith approved the subdivision, Bridesdale Farm Developments asked for its consent to have limited public notification after complaints from neighbouring property owners.

Despite sale and purchase agreements being signed, Bridesdale isn’t a done deal.

The scale of the challenge is laid bare in a cache of reports ahead of this month’s hearing.

The council’s engineering report, written last month, says there’s “insufficient capacity” in the existing water supply and stormwater networks - although Bridesdale wants to build a standalone stormwater system.

The report’s writer, Richard Flitton, demands confirmation that any water supply upgrade is adequate.

Bridesdale says it will pay for a bigger water pipe but it shouldn’t be slugged with the whole bill because it was being upgraded anyway.

The council’s consultant urban designer, Ed Jolly, has concerns about a “risk of unit repetition” along some streets.

A geo technical report by GeoSolve Ltd, which has a local office, says specific foundation designs will be needed in certain areas “to cater for lateral stretching of foundations during large seismic events”.

The Otago Regional Council wants an analysis of flood risks for lower-lying areas.

Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust’s chairman David Cole has criticised Bridesdale for refusing to contribute affordable housing.

Opponents Lake Hayes Estate couple Jane and Richard Bamford go further, stating: “Per square metre, Bridesdale would have to be one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Queenstown.”

Several submitters ask for the development to be accessed by Alec Robins Road. There are also worries the garden allotments will be an “eyesore”.

Lake Hayes Estate’s Doug Anderson says off-street parking is “painfully inadequate”.

The Lake Hayes Estate Community Association made a submission too - but the council rejected it because it wasn’t one of the notified parties.

The association says infrastructure upgrades should be paid by the developer. It paints a less-than perfect picture of life at Lake Hayes.

“Already we are subject to water restrictions and the wastewater pump has been upgraded over the last few months. We are subjected to power cuts on a regular basis and are already experiencing traffic congestion.”