Fernhill residents’ fury


Long-time Fernhill residents are barring up over a massive residential complex planned for their Queenstown hillside subdivision.

They claim the high-end 110-unit development will spoil their suburb’s character, worsen traffic problems, strain infrastructure and possibly block views.

Developers describe ‘Jade Lake’ as “the largest residential project in downtown Queenstown”.

In fact, it’s on 2.2 hectares of terraced land between the lower and upper reaches of Wynyard Crescent.

It takes in a 1.52ha parcel which sold earlier this year for $3.2 million.

Local property manager Min Yang yesterday confirmed he’s developing the site with a Singaporean friend.

Their Mandarin language website, Jadelake.co.nz, reveals the developer has teamed up with China’s no.1 real estate agency, Lianjia.com.

But Yang says “we haven’t started selling it”.

“We’re still in the early stages of the design work and haven’t yet made a resource consent application,” he says in an emailed statement.

“It would be premature to talk about the details of what’s proposed because they may change as the layout evolves and is refined.”

Yang’s in discussions with Queenstown’s council.

“We’ll only lodge the application once we’re confident that all environmental effects have been identified and addressed.”

Yang says he’s not aware of neighbours’ concerns.

Several Wynyard Cres residents, however, are appalled by the development plans.

Concerned: Resident Brian Marquand

Brian Marquand, who’s lived there since 1980, says “to have a complex like this go in amongst a big group of residential houses is just not on”.

“The infrastructure in Fernhill along that area is at its max now – they’re always repairing water pipes and the road.”

He’s concerned that traffic will be added to Wynyard Cres, already jammed with parked cars, and thinks views could be lost.

And he points to a major creek down the middle of the site, where a novel ‘Bridge House’ is planned.

“This creek has flooded in the past.”

Helga Coolman, who’s lived in the same house for 21 years with her husband Ed, notes the only access is off a corner of Wynyard Cres.

“We had to redesign our house as we weren’t allowed to come out on that corner.

“Fernhill will never be the same – all the neighbours are up in arms.”

Other unhappy neighbours include Sheila Chappell, who calls the plans “absolutely gross”, and Spike Wademan.

“We’re going to turn [Fernhill] into a full-blown resort for the rich and infamous SUV drivers, ” artist Wademan says.

“I personally can’t see it happening. It’s too big, it’s in the wrong place and the infrastructure is going to have to be huge.”

Neighbours are also concerned the complex does not appear to have adequate parking, but Yang says there’s more than enough.