A controversial overhaul for Glenorchy’s old campground has approval.
Camp Glenorchy, as it is known, is the vision of American philanthropists Paul and Debbi Brainerd.
Pounamu Holdings 2014 Ltd wants to transform the 1.2ha old camping ground site on Oban St to take up to 140 people in bunk cabins, tent and caravan sites.
Fifteen new buildings are proposed, including a large commons building with a floor area of 560sq m, plus extensive landscaping and a photovoltaic array.
In a decision released yesterday granting consent with conditions, independent commissioners Jane Taylor and Bob Nixon said the development was relatively large by Glenorchy standards.
However, such developments were anticipated by the district plan and any environmental effects were less than minor.
At a hearing last month, opponents questioned the scale of the development, the height of the commons building and setbacks from the boundary of what is considered a non-complying activity.
Supporters endorsed both the economic boost and job creation.
The commissioners say: “We think it is self-evident that the establishment of Camp Glenorchy would have significant positive effects in that it would reinstate, in a modern and sustainable form, a camping ground facility that had since closed.”
While the highest point of the commons building breaches height rules, the commissioners said there were no immediate neighbours and allowing a pitched roof ensured better urban design.
They noted Glenorchy’s height rule was unusually restrictive, adding: “The proposed building has been carefully designed to be sympathetic to the Glenorchy village environment and the character of the surrounding landscape, and will not appear out of place or dominant in this location.”
The Otago Regional Council initially opposed the consent because the site was exposed to natural hazards.
At the hearing it agreed the risk was minor and it would discuss Buckler Burn river management with the Queenstown Lakes District Council.