Changes to a luxury lodge proposed for Queenstown’s Bob’s Cove mean it’s now ‘‘inconsistent’’ with the land’s zoning rather than ‘‘contrary’’ to it, a planning consultant says.

Giving evidence during an Environment Court appeal hearing in the resort yesterday, John Edmonds said Waimarino Queenstown Ltd had removed four of the 24 villas originally proposed, which meant more native beech trees could be retained between the buildings.

Under questioning by Graeme Todd, lawyer for a group of residents opposing the lodge, Edmonds agreed the court will have to consider a range of values for the site — including landscape, naturalness, aesthetic, cultural and recreational — in assessing the company’s revised resource consent application.

Todd suggests many of those values are at the ‘‘higher end of the scale’’ on the site, while the lodge complex is of a greater ‘‘bulk, scale and intensity’’ than anticipated for visitor accommodation by the land’s zoning.

The independent panel of commissioners that refused the company’s application in 2022 had said one of the reasons it failed was because of a range of effects on cultural values, as identified by two iwi in separate submissions on the application, he says.

The court will have to take the panel’s decision into account when making its own decision, yet the revised application only addresses the effects of earthworks and accidental archaeological discovery in considering those cultural values.

Queenstown’s council — which no longer opposes the application — ‘‘now appears to be ignoring that’’, Todd says.

Waimarino Queenstown, whose sole director is Sydney-based businessman Andrew McIntosh, applied for consent in 2021 to build the green-roofed villas and communal facilities on a 1.8ha site overlooking the picturesque bay.

The site’s bordered by the GlenTui residential subdivision on one side and Department of Conservation recreation reserve on the other.

The hearing wraps up today – the court’s decision will be reserved for several months.

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