May, 2017Public feedback on the re-establishment and extension of the Queenstown
Lakes District Council's Gorge Rd Special Housing Area (SHA) has been
The council resolved in December 2015 to propose its own SHA on Gorge
Rd, aiming to make it easier for developers to build houses and
apartments of up to six storeys.
Feedback on the proposal - which encompassed the Wakatipu High School
site, minus the playing fields, on one side of the road and all of the land
from the Caltex corner down to and including Gorge Rd Retail Centre,
next to Matakauri Park - closed in February last year.
In June, Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith announced Government
approval for the SHA, at the time proposed for a 12.8ha brownfield site,
with potential for up to 150 lots.
This month QLDC planning and development general manager Tony Avery
said the Gorge Rd business mixed use zone and SHA was due to expire on
However, following discussions with landowners and developers, the
council believed there would be a benefit in re-establishing and extending
it to "try and encourage landowners/developers to build houses or
apartment buildings', including those aimed at worker accommodation.
"The proposed re-establishment of the SHA would mean that it would not
expire until September 16, 2019,' Mr Avery said.
The Gorge Rd proposal would be slightly different from other approved
SHAs, because the request was coming from the council and would apply
to multiple properties, rather than one landowner.
It would incorporate the same area as the previously agreed SHA, with the
addition of 133 Hallenstein St and Warren Park - the high school playing
The approximate total area of the proposed extended SHA was 15.38ha
and would have a similar "albeit slightly higher' yield than the original.
This could be higher if more landowners/developers took up the
opportunity to develop their site under the Housing Accords and Special
Housing Areas Act legislation, Mr Avery said.
The Hallenstein St address was located in the high density residential zone
of the proposed district plan and directly adjoined the business mixed use
zone, Gorge Rd, and was, therefore, "of obvious interest to developers'.
"Warren Park is currently vested as a reserve and there are no current
plans for its use other than as a reserve.'
Any development under the proposed SHA would need to meet several
criteria, including a maximum building height of 15m and four storeys in
Gorge Rd A, Warren Park; and a height limit of 20m with a maximum of
six storeys at all other sites, including 133 Hallenstein St.
The criteria also stipulated at least 30 percent of dwellings needed to be
studio, one or two-bedroom apartments.
Any proposal over 12m in height would be reviewed by the Urban Design
Panel to ensure a "pleasant streetscape and living environment'.
The council said while the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act
2013 did not provide for formal consultation on the establishment of
special housing areas, QLDC's elected members wanted to hear local views
on the extension of the SHA.
Feedback closes at 5pm on May 22, with the council making its
determination at a full meeting on May 25.
Source: Otago Daily Times
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