Developers aim to get cracking


Titles in Queenstown’s largest subdivision in recent years could be issued early next year, an Australian developer says.

Queenstown’s council has unanimously endorsed the massive Hanley Downs subdivision south of Frankton, in the shadow of the Remarkables mountains.

Between 1279 and 2164 new homes might be built on the site, next to Jack’s Point.

RCL Group boss David Wightman told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he hopes, subject to public notification, work will begin by the end of this year. 

“We’re pleased that we’ve got to this point, it has been a long time coming and it’s been unfortunate that it’s taken this long.

“There is a shortage of land in Queenstown as we speak and had we been able to achieve this sooner I think we would have been able to alleviate the pressure that is on Queenstown at the moment.” 

Councillors rubber-stamped the recommendation of independent planning commissioners at yesterday’s meeting.

A plan change will now be publicly notified and subject to a resource consent hearing.

Wightman says the optimum number of properties in the staged development would be about 1750.

At the meeting, acting district plan manager Blair Devlin said the yield included in the report to councillors, of 3800, was the “gross” number of properties.

The revised net number took into account land required for roads and reserves.

Wightman says the homes will be “affordable”, but not “cheap and nasty”.

“We’ve always been very particular about providing a good, strong community infrastructure, which I think really goes to the value proposition for a community.

“So we’re not going to in any way, shape, or form go light on the way we invest in our parks and community infrastructure and the way we lay the project out with our width of roads and spatial awareness.”

Jay Cameron, a representative of the Jacks Point Residents Society, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

RCL Group, which owns some of the 561ha of farmland between Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables next to State Highway 6, applied in 2013 to have the district plan changed.

Hanley Downs, previously known as Henley Downs, is north of the Jacks Point settlement and was covered by the Jacks Point Resort Zone.

While it had approval for 1364 residences, RCL and other land owners wanted permission for more, to enable higher density with houses priced at $500,000 and above.

The company applied to do that in 2013, but objections meant the plan change was put on hold until last year. About 17 stages were planned in what the company’s website estimated was a nine-year building programme for Wakatipu.

RCL has property portfolios in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

Otago Daily Times