Business park blues

SHARE

Life in the Wakatipu’s two big industrial zones isn’t all sweetness and light. 

A recent Queenstown Lakes District Council survey of industrial-zone firms throws up major grizzles over parking, residential use and retail creep. 

Queenstown’s industrial zone comprises Industrial Place and most of Gorge Road, including Gorge Rd Retail Centre. Frankton’s Glenda Drive is the other big Wakatipu business area. 

Three-quarters of Industrial Place respondents and 81 per cent of those from Glenda Drive pan parking.
“Street parking is extremely bad,” one unknown Industrial Place occupant says. “We constantly have to move vehicles parked over our access.” 

Others blame no time limits on street parking: “Therefore non-customers fill all the parks with all-day parking.” And: “Most street parking is taken up by various businesses’ staff cars.” 

Glenda Drive echoes those complaints and occupants there also throw mud at each other for using the roadway as a business facility. 

“Some businesses are using public parking for vehicle storage etc.” And: “Car wreckers operating from Margaret Place [have] approximately 20 cars stored on the street.” And: “Rental cars [are] taking up all the parking.” 

One reply suggests “a free carparking area centrally located off Glenda Drive for staff [in order] to maximise customer parking.” 

Some parking critics also claim an increase in residential accommodation in the industrial zones means more and more vehicles clog the streets. Gorge Rd Retail Centre has apartments above shops, while Glenda Drive’s Shotover Ridge Business Park has accommodation units atop ground-floor retail and general business space. 

Fifty-seven per cent of Glenda Drive respondents and 52 per cent from Queenstown either oppose residential accommodation in their zones or have strong reservations. One Queenstowner says: “Residents having loud parties while we’re working is difficult.” From Glenda Drive: “Children [are] walking to the school bus with no footpaths.” 

Feeling is so high about people living in the industrial zones that a list of recommendations from the survey includes “avoiding or more effectively restricting residential activity” in future business parks. 

Retail outlets creeping into industrial areas should also be better controlled in future, another recommendation says, “…[by] limiting the nature and/or area of retail activity to preserve these zones for the intended business/industrial activity types”. 

QLDC claims 22 per cent of business occupants in the Queenstown zone “are predominantly retail in nature” and “a further 11 per cent trade retail”. 

Glenda Drive respondents are more relaxed about retail yet point out that if it increases, parking will need to be addressed and footpaths provided. 

Yet one respondent’s comment shows how tradesfolk may innately prefer to segregate themselves from other business sectors. 

“A yoga studio in Industrial Lane?”