From Wanaka Sun (page 2) 20 - 26 April 2017
Exclusion from Sticky Forest a possibility
Local users of Sticky Forest are saddened that parts of the popular bike trails may be a no-go zone if the owners are not successful in having the zoning of the land changed in the Queenstown Lakes Proposed District Plan.
In his original submission Mike Beresford, a representative of the working group for the Sticky Forest owners, sought to have the land rezoned from Rural to Low Density Residential with the intention of developing the entire 50.6ha.
In the latest submission the development area now sought has been reduced to 20ha.
The land has been held in trust by the government and the Office of Treaty Settlements since 1998 and just over 1000 descendents of the 53 original land owners have now been identified.
In his submission Mike said there were two possible scenarios as an outcome of the submission process
“If I am unsuccessful in obtaining my preferred outcome, being Low Density Residential (Urban) zoning for the land, I request that the land be left with a Rural zoning without an ONL overlay.”
The submission goes on to state that if the 20ha is rezoned to low residential density/large lot development,
“that in return for these development rights, the balance of the land remain Rural with an ONL classification, with provision made for retention of the trees and ongoing public access to the land for its recreational activities.”
In the submission recreational use of Sticky Forest is addressed. Mike states that most of the work undertaken by the working group was done in ignorance of the significance of Sticky Forest to the Wanaka community and a continuation of some recreation use had not been taken into consideration of the various land use options being considered.
“If the beneficiaries decide to hold on to the land, the possibility that it will be locked off from the public use cannot be ruled out. Similarly, if the decision is made to carry on actively managing the land as a productive forest then public access is likely to be restricted.”
In his conclusion Mike said, “I am aware of the value of Sticky Forest to both the wider community and the biking community as an open space and recreation asset. I also think that the community now understands that the land is in fact private land and was set aside to provide economic benefit and sustenance to the beneficiaries.”
He also went onto say that in his opinion, “the outcome sought represents both a fair option for the beneficiaries, but also puts on the table a very generous outcome for the community. In effect over half of the land would be retained as open space/recreation and generally protect the majority of the bike tracks.”
Bike Wanaka spokesman Simon Telfer said,
“Bike Wanaka is saddened that large swathes of Sticky Forest would be chopped down and built on, with the loss of many of our most loved and used biking and walking tracks. We were surprised the developer’s evidence suggested that the Wanaka community would be locked out of Sticky Forest if rezoning was not agreed to. Bike Wanaka will have to work even harder to ensure the whole of Sticky Forest, as we know it, becomes a community asset for our children and our children's children.”