Special Housing Area rides roughshod over community
The [Hawea] community is reeling. Some are like stunned mullets, angry, frustrated, losing sleep. Tears have been shed. Some say, it beggars belief, how dare seven Queenstown councillors who do not know our community support a recommendation that has over 600 votes saying no? How could a Wanaka councillor support a flawed recommendation? The numbers do not stack up they say. Of the 63 supporting submissions, 21 were real estate agents so have to be ignored.
I am with the community on this one. Sure the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust (QLCHT) presents a case for any Special Housing Area (SHA) to be approved because they have a long waiting list and can make a positive difference for families. Affordable housing has been available at Timsfield since its inception.
The SHA is opposite residential zoning that has capacity for approximately 600 houses. For QLDC to vote on the fly of supposed affordable housing for a few is not a valid reason to ride roughshod over the usual resource consent or district plan zone changing process.
The recently released District Plan Stage 1 (pages 68 to 78 on Lake Hawea) includes the commissioner's recommendation for no development south of Cemetery Road unless well planned and carefully coordinated. Why have councillors not supported this decision?
The community has said an SHA on Rural General land is not carefully planned and not the way to move ahead. Better to review the existing 2020 Hawea Community Plan with QLDC and community input that includes all the necessary infrastructure so we end up with a masterplan that works for the future for the community, environment and economy.
Timsfield has always been a successful affordable subdivision and will highly likely be stalled with the SHA going ahead meaning Capell Ave extension will not be constructed by its developer for years. I doubt QLDC or Universal Developments will fund its construction.
The fundamentally flawed planning report was signed off on 14 June, one week before feedback closed. It reads like a done deal. There is no detail of the planning for all the required infrastructure to meet the needs of this development.
For those who do not get it, drive out and see the unsafe intersection challenges at the east end of the dam, at Lakeview Tce /Moraine Pl where the new Sentinel Road from Cemetery Rd goes to and at Capell Ave/Lakeview Tce where a roundabout will be required once Capell becomes a through road.
That is just the beginning of the expensive challenges. Sewerage to Project Pure. I would prefer a robust analysis of options. It is 2018. Let's go for smart, sensible thinking and achieve a holistic well thought out masterplan for Lake Hawea.
The community is grateful Calum and Quentin supported them but disappointed the other councillors did not get that this SHA is not the way ahead. We are left hoping Central Government will decide this SHA is not appropriate to approve.
It is regrettable that the elected WCB members did not make a submission supporting the Hawea Community Association and Keep Hawea Beautiful team so the Queenstown councillors could realise the importance of listening to Calum and Quentin and vote against the recommendation by the Queenstown planner.
- Jude Battson
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