Expansion hits planning hurdle

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The Otago Regional Council is worried about “natural hazards” in the wider Jack’s Point development zone.

ORC is vehemently opposing a developer-driven proposal to re-zone about 520 hectares north of the already-developed part of Jack’s Point.

The area to be re-zoned – labelled the ‘Henley Downs Zone’ – would upsize the existing urban area of Jack’s Point by up to 2400 homes in a higher-density residential development.

Under the district plan, there’s already approval for 1364 sites but Australian company RCL Group is pushing for an extra 1000 homes on Henley Downs.

Apart from standard-size sections, the Henley Downs development will offer units, townhouses and lifestyle properties, RCL boss David Wightman has previously told Mountain Scene.

However, RCL’s plan change may go awry if it can’t counter or at least mitigate the regional council’s strong opposition.

According to ORC’s submission, “the matter of most concern” is natural hazards – specifically flooding and liquefaction.

ORC says the development application “demonstrates uncertainty in respect to the magnitude of risk from alluvial fan processes at the site”, with the northern part classified as “abandoned lake bed”.

The developer’s own geologist “notes this area is at or close to creek level and that the catchment flood history was not researched,” ORC claims.

The same geologist also “notes concerns in respect to some outstanding geological uncertainties re­­­garding liquefaction”, the submission continues.

The regional council wants Queenstown’s district council to refuse re-zoning unless liquefaction and flooding risks are “understood and addressed as appropriate”.

Attempts to contact Wightman for a response to ORC’s allegations were unsuccessful.