Reject SHA proposals: planner


Two fast-tracked housing plans proposed for Queenstown might fall at the first hurdle.

Queenstown’s council meets tomorrow to consider whether to recommend the Waterfall Park and Glenpanel proposals to the government for so-called ‘special housing area’ (SHA) status.

But council planner Anita Vanstone recommends both are rejected, citing concerns about infrastructure provision and the danger of setting a precedent for more intense housing in rural areas.

In a report to the meeting, Vanstone says the Waterfall Park site is 2km from Arrowtown’s urban growth boundary and could be viewed as an “isolated residential island in the countryside”.

Developers Chris and Michaela Meehan are proposing 141 lots over a 60ha site that encompasses Ayrburn Farm.

The council has already rejected two SHA proposals from the same developer for the Ayrburn Farm site.

Vanstone says the latest development would “inevitably change the rural character of the area” and set a precedent for further urban development in the area.

Information provided about how the site could be adequately serviced for wastewater drainage was inadequate.

She recommended the Glenpanel proposal, between the Shotover River and Lake Hayes, be refused because it was inconsistent with the operating district plan and the proposed district plan (PDP).

Vanstone also feared endorsing the subdivision plan would set a precedent for expanding urban development on the northern side of the Frankton-Ladies Mile Highway.

Maryhill Ltd wants to build a 207-lot subdivision on a 20ha site by the highway between Lake Hayes and Frankton.

The company is owned by Sharyn and Grant Stalker, the developers of the nearby Shotover Country subdivision, along with their son Kristan and his wife Emma.

The site is directly across the highway from the last development to receive SHA status, the Queenstown Country Club retirement village.

Vanstone says the land either side of the highway was an “important visual corridor” into Queenstown that had largely retained its rural character.

Council staff were undertaking a “high-level review” of the area that could potentially result in a variation to the PDP.

The developers had also failed to show how the site could be adequately serviced for water, wastewater, stormwater and access.

The expiry of key sections of SHA legislation on September 16 meant there was little time remaining to remedy those concerns and progress the negotiation of a draft deed, she says.

The Otago Daily Times asked Housing Minister Nick Smith whether he was considering extending the Government’s housing accord with the council past the September expiry date.

His press secretary, Sharon Lundy, said Dr Smith would not be commenting on housing accords or SHAs until after the Auckland Council’s unitary plan process concluded on August 19.

Otago Daily Times