Council staff’s swerve over Feeley subdivision


Staff at Queenstown’s council have taken a hands-off approach with their boss’s proposed development.

As revealed by Mountain Scene in February, council boss  is using government fast-track rules to try and develop its property on the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road.

Council staff gave their verdict last night on the 13 so-called special housing area proposals that want government sign-off to bypass planning rules and consultation requirements.

Only four were endorsed, which will add a total of 175 properties. 

But district plan manager Matthew Paetz is leaving it to councillors to weigh up proposals in the Arrowtown area – including Feeley’s Rafa Trust – which have prompted significant backlash from the local community. 

Decisions will be made at this coming Wednesday’s crucial council meeting.

Paetz says councillors need to weigh the “meaningful” difference the Arrowtown proposals will make to housing supply and affordability against the fact they are outside Arrowtown’s urban growth boundary and infrastructure “complexities”.

He warns councillors that not recommending the highest-ranking Arrowtown areas means the council’s likely to fall short of its housing accord target of 1300 new houses over the next three years.

The report comes after an evaluation panel made up of Paetz and an independent external planning adviser experienced in special housing areas in Auckland and Wellington judged the merits of each proposal.

The four areas recommended for approval were at Shotover Country, Arthurs Point North, Onslow Road and Highview Terrace – were given the highest of four possible ratings.

Two of the four Arrowtown proposals – Brackens Ridge and Rafa Trust – also got high ratings. If approved they will add another 82 properties. A third Arrowtown proposal, for 150 houses at Ayburn Farm, got the second-highest rating.

QLDC also released “informal feedback” on the proposals.

One submitter says: ”I do not believe the proposed special housing area on the boundaries of Arrowtown will deliver a single affordable house.

“Like elsewhere, the land will be snapped up by speculators and cashed-up baby boomers.”

Most of the remaining submitters raised concerns about a plan to develop land at Highview Terrace. 

Otago Daily Times