By GUY WILLIAMS
The developer behind a luxury lodge proposal for Queenstown’s Bobs Cove has decided to publicly notify it after an unfavourable report by Queenstown council’s landscape expert.
B Property Group chief executive Andrew McIntosh applied for resource consent for the Waimarino Luxury Lodge on a non-notified basis last July.
He wants to build 24 luxury villas, each on a freehold title, on a 1.8-hectare site overlooking the scenic bay 15 minutes’ drive from the resort’s CBD.
McIntosh tells Mountain Scene he and his consultants were surprised by the report because they’ve been working closely with the council from the outset.
‘‘They’ve been very constructive — until the last minute.’’
It means about 50 affected parties can submit on the proposal before a February 8 deadline.
It’ll then be the subject of a public hearing in a few months’ time.
While he laments the additional cost and delay, he’s confident it won’t change the final outcome, and intends to start the two-year build as soon as consent’s granted.
He says the complex, which would include an owner’s residence, restaurant, micro distillery and yoga studio for residents’ use only, will be one of the most sustainable developments of its type in the country.
The design by Design Base Architects incorporates living roofs, all facilities powered by solar, and its own water source.
Although six mature native trees would have to be removed to make the development stack up financially, 7000 new natives will be planted, he says.
‘‘A lot of people perceive the land as all natives, but a lot of it is scrub and non-indigenous
The company will donate a native tree to the community for every bed night sold, which it expects will come to 100,000 natives in the first five years.
He points out the site, which he’s bought from veteran property developer John Reid, is
zoned rural residential.
‘‘There could be four large residential homes with clotheslines, trailers and outhouses with
out any sustainable aspects.
‘‘That’s a permitted activity, so we think this is an improvement on baseline.
‘‘We think this is good for the community, we also think it’s good for the environment … but we appreciate not everyone’s going to see it our way.’’
He’s taken deposits on the sale of 11 villas, but is retaining ownership of the rest.
McIntosh lived in the resort from 1995 to 2000, co-owning and operating the Black Sheep Backpackers in Frankton Road.
He got his start in business by founding a company that merged with others to become the Kiwi Experience tour bus company.
His company’s currently developing a 35-room boutique hotel in Wanaka, next to the town’s New World supermarket, with completion expected by early next year.