A hearing will be held in June to hear submissions on River Terrace Developments Ltd's application for a private plan change which proposes adding 900 residential units opposite Highland’s Motorsports Park in Cromwell.
Winton Ltd’s Chris and Michaela Meehan are behind the proposed development, described on Winton’s website as a master plan “developed to provide plenty of open space, parks, interconnected greenways and over 3km of dedicated cycle and pedestrian walkway networks.
“Located in the growing heart of Central Otago...It will feature 900 residential housing lots, recreational green areas, a school and village centre amenities.”
More than 400 submissions were made opposing Plan Change 13 (PC13), which includes medium and higher density residential, retirement living, a neighbourhood centre and potential educational facilities on 49.8ha of land on the corner of State Highway 6 and Sandflat Road.
The 410 submissions opposed to PC 13 are mostly concerned about the loss of potentially valuable rural land, the development’s location outside of Cromwell’s residential centre and the effect on established orchards and motorsports venues surrounding the development — including reverse sensitivity.
The application suggests that it can mitigate reverse sensitivity claims with a “restrictive no-complaint covenant”. The proposed restrictive covenants “prevent any owner or occupier of the servient land from complaining about or taking any steps to prevent” motorsports, speedway and stock car track activities, or prevent noise being generated in the normal course of orcharding activities. However, many of those opposed to PC 13 are not convinced, with Highlands Motorsport Park Ltd submitting, “The PC 13 site is surrounded by non-residential noise sources (Highlands, Speedway, orchards, state highway) meaning residents will be subjected to noise from multiple sources and throughout the day and night. This will result in poor residential amenity and is likely to ultimately have effects on the health of residents.”
Central Otago District Council also submitted in opposition to PC 13, stating it “supports those original submissions calling for PC 13 to be declined on the basis that it will preempt the outcomes of the [Cromwell ‘Eye to the Future’ Master Plan], and plan changes to the Operative Plan that may eventuate from it.
“While the Resource Management Act (RMA) provides for privately initiated plan changes, those such as PC 13, which are ad hoc and lacking in both an integrated and strategic vision, are not the most appropriate means of achieving the RMA’s statutory purpose.”
There were two submissions in support of PC 13, one from River Terrace Developments Ltd and one from a Cromwell resident who believes “the application allows for the most suitable option to cater for the growth of the Cromwell urban area”.
Transpower, the Ministry of Education and another submitter neither support or oppose PC 13, while NZ Transport Agency supports/opposes it in part, and Otago Regional Council opposes in part in respect to water services.
A panel of three independent commissioners will hear submissions from June 10-14 at the Cromwell Presbyterian Church and a decision will be released following the hearing.