Business heavyweights swing behind subdivision


Queenstown’s business elite has endorsed a proposed subdivision on prime rural land – but a council planner reckons it should be rejected.

Ian and Suzie Todd want to subdivide their 14ha Hogans Gully Rd property.

Neighbouring landowners – essentially a who’s who of Queenstown business – have given their blessing to a proposed subdivision of prime rural land near Arrowtown.

They include jewellery magnate Sir Michael Hill, skifield and tourism mogul Sir John Davies, Skyline Enterprises chief executive Jeff Staniland and tourism industry veteran Andrew Brinsley.

But in a report to a resource consent hearing in the resort yesterday, Queenstown Lakes District Council planner Aaron Burt recommended the application be refused.

He says the development’s a “creep” of rural-residential development into what is a rural general zone.

He argues adverse effects on the landscape will be “more than minor”.

The Todds want to split the property into six residential lots, including their existing home.

The proposal attracted five submissions after its public notification in January, with two opposed and three requesting more information or asking for conditions to be imposed.

The couple’s planning consultant, Neil McDonald, says his clients have made many tweaks to satisfy neighbours, including a small section to be transferred to the Brinsley family.

All submitters and two more neighbours gave written approval for the subdivision - except for the Arrow Irrigation Company, which was neutral.

Part of the Todd property’s southern boundary is shared with the exclusive Bendemeer subdivision. 

McDonald says Burt “misapplied” a planning test which applied only to non-complying activities, whereas the application was discretionary. 

Incremental subdivision and rezoning have changed the predominantly rural character in the area when the couple bought the property in 1977.

Commissioners Bob Nixon and Dennis Nugent reserved their decision.

Otago Daily Times