Queenstown’s council approves more SHAs


Three more special housing areas for the Wakatipu are a step closer.

Proposed developments in Arthurs Point, Onslow Rd and Shotover Country will be recommended to Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith for fast-track status after gaining unanimous approval at a  meeting of Queenstown’s council on Thursday.

The three areas would deliver almost 200 residential units.

A fourth SHA proposal backed by councillors in June – an 18-section development in Highview Terracce – has been dropped by its backers.

The 95-lot Shotover Country proposal does not have the support of the Otago Regional Council, which wants further analysis of flood and liquefaction risk in the area.

But Cr Mel Gazzard says the flooding risk is extremely low.

“It would take a flood of biblical proportions – there would have to be 4m of water in downtown Beach Street.”

District plan manager Matthew Paetz says independent expert advice will be sought on the issue, and if the proposal is approved by Dr Smith as a special housing area (SHA), that aspect will be considered by council commissioners with ORC input.

Councillors also gave qualified support for a retirement village in Arrowtown to be given SHA status.

The Arrowtown Lifestyle Retirement Village proposal, received by the council early this month, is planned for a 20ha site in McDonnell Road.

Eight people spoke in favour of the proposal during the meeting’s public forum – two of them representatives of the company promoting it.

Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association board member John Lapsley says the project had the strong backing of his association and the Arrowtown Village Association.

It was a one-off, so there is no risk of the village being wrecked by the ”ugly spread” of suburban development.

Another resident, Jim Ryan, says the proposal should not become an Arrowtown boundary issue.

”If the serial objectors had their way, we wouldn’t have the magnificent facilities of Millbrook and The Hills.”

Susie Todd urged councillors to ”waste no time” in approving the facility.

There is desperate demand for it because of the district’s rapidly growing and ageing population, and other aged-care facilities in the lower South Island were full.

Arrowtown councillor Scott Stevens says overwhelming community support for the proposal contrasted with almost unanimous opposition to three SHAs proposed for the village earlier in the year.

Residents have the right to ”pick and choose” which developments they want.

Councillors will receive a further report on the proposal before deciding whether to recommend it to Dr Smith as an SHA.