Church plans new chapter

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Rapid growth: Frankton Flats

A new church at Frankton could include a sports field, indoor court, hostel, playground and more than 30 residential units.

Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church has submitted plans to City Hall to build new digs by State Highway 6.

Church reps don’t want to comment but the application outlines detail of plans for the eight-hectare site.

The first phase of the development is a 1265 square metre church – including an auditorium, a 70-seat chapel and a 15-metre steeple.

Two new manses and recreational facilities, including the football pitch and indoor court, are also on the cards.

The plan says: “The church will be intentionally prominent and will be highly visible from views along the road.”

Housing would follow in phase two, including “two more manses, 13 residential units (separately saleable), 14 retirement units, a visitor accommodation hostel, child-ren’s playground, community gardens … and additional car and bus parking”.

The application says it’ll help ease Queenstown’s housing woes.

ministers, and future retirement and terraced housing will contribute positively towards affordable housing, of which it is well known there is a short supply in the district.”

There’s been rapid growth on the Frankton Flats in recent years, including the Five Mile shopping centre – with more large-scale commercial and residential plans across Grant Road.

A lack of space has got the church on the move.

“The church congregations and community groups [including Girl Guides, Buddy programme and Autism Southland] are outgrowing the existing buildings, and the church serves a mixed international congregation and wider community that has different requirements to a traditional church space and meetings.”

As previously reported in the Scene, it didn’t have the blessing of the full congregation.

Last April Rex McDonald, a parishioner for 17 years, spoke out against the purchase.

“I don’t think we’ve got a congregation big enough. The town is growing but we’re not getting more bums on seats.”

The congregation spent $1.3 million buying the land.

It currently operates from three churches in the Wakatipu – St Andrew’s in Queenstown, St Margaret’s at Frankton and historic St John’s, Arrowtown.

louises@scene.co.nz