Revealed: Queenstown landowners’ wishlist


A who’s who of Queenstown’s landowners, rich-listers and developers have unveiled their wishlists in a bid for more residential development.

Jeweller Sir Michael Hill is among those calling on the council to rezone vast swathes of land to allow more houses to be built – and in some cases higher and more intensive subdivisions.

Others calling for changes include the developers of the Remarkables Park, Millbrook, Jack’s Point, Shotover Country, Quail Rise and Bridesdale Farm subdivisions.

The requests are among the 837 submissions received by the Queenstown Lakes District Council on its proposed district plan.

The Hill family, who co-host the New Zealand Golf Open on their land near Arrowtown, want their land, including the existing golf course and facilities, to be zoned as a resort.

The submission, from company Trojan Helmet, said the zone would provide for up to 100 houses or visitor-accommodation units.

The Hills want to build a helicopter landing site just south of the golf course clubhouse and develop “some ancillary commercial activity” nearby.

The company made submissions to rezone two other rural blocks – 20ha on the corner of Hogan Gully Rd and the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd and 8.4ha along McDonnell Rd – to rural lifestyle land, developing up to 14 houses.

Across the road from the Hills, Millbrook Country Club wants to extend its 200ha resort zone a further 67ha west to include its recently purchased Dalgleish Farm, where it plans to lay another nine golf holes and build about 50 houses.

Another developer pushing for a special resort zone is the Porter Group, which owns the 2000ha former Cone Peak Station, now known as Queenstown Station, on the right bank of the Kawarau River, near Frankton.

A gondola to the Remarkables skifield is planned for the station.

The developer, through subsidiary company Queenstown Park, argued there was room for much more development, including residential and visitor accommodation, a golf course, jetties, wharves and trails – as well as commercial and recreation activities.

Queenstown Park wants outstanding landscape classifications moved.

Parliament passed special housing area legislation last year to speed up housing development in the Wakatipu Basin but, as yet, no special housing area hasreceived consent.

And although consent approvals for new houses are well above special housing area targets, average prices in Queenstown Lakes are up 9.2 per cent, to $756,665, in the 12 months to November.

The first special housing area referred for approval is Bridesdale Farm – a 32ha site east of Lake Hayes, where Chris and Michaela Meehan want to have 145 houses built.

Bridesdale Farm Developments want the land rezoned medium density – from the existing mix of low-density residential, rural lifestyle and rural general.

Winton Partners, another Meehan company, wants 7.7ha of rural-zoned land – east of the Lake’s Edge Development, between the Kawarau Falls bridge and the Kelvin Heights turn-off – rezoned high-density residential.

Above the Lake’s Edge site, on the other side of Peninsula Rd, developer Frank Mee would like about 3.5ha upgraded from low-density to high-density residential.

Shotover Country is already developing 800 sections on former farmland between the Shotover River and Lake Hayes Estate and has applied for a special housing area.

In its plan submission, it wants two adjoining rural areas closer to the Shotover River rezoned for more houses, and the urban growth boundary moved.

Quail Rise developer David Broomfield wants a large area of rural land on Tucker Beach Rd rezoned to rural residential, allowing parcels of up to 4000sq m.

Other developers have made representations for changes in areas along Frankton Rd, up Fernhill and around Arthurs Point.

Meanwhile, the council has been criticised for moving to a “discretionary” regime for subdivisions and doing away with certain standard design controls.

Mr Mee has warned the level of uncertainty would have “significant adverse consequences” that might put developers off – and has suggested the subdivision chapter be deleted from the proposed plan and the previous regime reinstated.

The new regime is also opposed by the Meehan-related company Lakes Edge Development.

Jack’s Point developer John Darby – through his Darby Planning limited partnership – suggested the council delete all urban growth boundaries, which he said would fail to address outward expansion and the fragmentation of rural land.

Further submissions on the council’s proposed plan close on December 16.

There are suggestions the Jack’s Point zone – taking in proposed developments at the neighbouring Hanley Downs and Homestead Bay – be managed as one unit.

But this has its opponents, who include former mayor Clive Geddes, who says an integrated community cannot be delivered when Hanley Downs will have significantly higher residential densities and less open space.

Business interests are also demanding changes.

The Middleton family want 114ha of rural land on Queenstown Hill to be rezoned as an airport mixed-use zone.

A consortium of landowners, including entities associated with NZSki chairman Sir John Davies and the Hensman family, are asking for 63ha of rural land in the foothills of the Remarkables mountains to be rezoned for industrial and business uses.

Otago Daily Times