Rival development firm hits back at Porter


A company involved in Frankton’s development saga has hit back at claims Queenstown’s council is ignoring community views.
Those behind Queenstown Central Ltd, which owns some of the prime development land at Frankton Flats, disagree with the claims made this week by rival developer Alastair Porter.
Porter – whose family-run Shotover Park Ltd has appealed an Environment Court decision on the zoning of Frankton Flats – alleged the community’s views and those of affected landowners weren’t being fairly considered by staff or elected members of Queenstown Lakes District Council. 

A lack of clarity regarding intended outcomes for Frankton Flats’ prime 69 hectare-plot had led to an inability for the community to shape the future without calling in costly consultants, lawyers and judges, Porter said. 

The recent Environment Court decision sides with council’s plans to zone the area for industrial use – however, Porter’s Shotover Park has plans for a $50 million retail development including a Pak ‘n’ Save supermarket and Mitre 10 Mega hardware store. 

In response to Porter’s claims this week, Queenstown Central development manager Simon Holloway says in a statement today (Friday) that the council’s plan for the Frankton Flats land was notified for public submissions way back in 2007. 

A plan change clearly identified the development outcomes council wanted for the land to provide for the district’s future growth, he said. 

“[The plan change] was publically notified providing the community every opportunity to participate in the zoning process,” Holloway said. 

A separate decision issued by independently-appointed commissioners and largely in accordance with the council plans was also publicly notified. 

“The Porters’ appeal to the [latest Environment Court] decision seeks to enable retail activities for their land rather than the industrial activity status the court decision has directed,” Holloway says. 

Separately, Queenstown Central has appealed consents granted for the Pak ‘n’ Save and Mitre 10 by the Environment Court – Holloway says: “For the purpose of protecting the integrity of [the plan change].” 

Holloway says it should be clarified that Queenstown Central is not the owner or developer of land dubbed Hendo’s Hole where a $125 million mall is proposed. 

That company is Queenstown Gateway (5M) Ltd which is owned by Aucklander Tony Gapes. Gapes is a director of Auckland-based Redwood Group, which has a management relationship with Queenstown Central. 

Holloway adds: “Queenstown Central, and we understand Queenstown Gateway, have a strong desire to resolve all matters within the Frankton Flats in order that the Queenstown community may benefit from the amenities and growth opportunities that [the plan change] decision will provide.” 

Earlier this week, Porter said his company Shotover Park regretted making the appeal but had little choice – and “remained committed to achieving an agreed settlement to avoid further litigation”.