Golf course plans on hold till outcome

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A proposed multimillion-dollar world-class golf resort has taken a hit, at least until submissions on a planned 900-section subdivision in Cromwell have been heard.

Highlands chief executive officer Josie Spillane told The News this week its plans for a landmark 18-hole golf course were on hold while it waited for the outcome of plan change 13.

River Terrace Developments Ltd, owned by Chris and Michaela Meehan, of Queenstown, has requested the Central Otago District Council agree to the plan change involving 49ha of land.

They want to use the land to build houses, a retirement village, a school, cafes and shops – ultimately making it a “high-density residential” area.

The Cromwell “Eye to the Future” master plan would also determine the golf resort’s future, Mrs Spillane said.

While it was not yet known what shape the master plan would take, plan change 13 was not in Highlands’ favour.

“We believe it’s an entirely inappropriate use of the land,” Mrs Spillane said.

The land proposed for use in plan change 13, along State Highway 6, neighbours the Highlands Motorsport Park, the Central Motors Speedway and orchards.

Mrs Spillane said having neighbours like those businesses would not make the residential development a place for “happy living”.

The park’s acoustic engineers found “a good portion of that community is going to be annoyed by Highlands on a daily basis”, she said.

There was no point going ahead with the golf resort until more was known about what the surrounding land would be used for in the future, she said.

“We need to understand what our future looks like before we move forward.”

Highlands welcomed the support of people who had submitted in its favour and that of the surrounding orchards.

“It is the start of what is going to be a substantial journey,” Mrs Spillane said.

Plan change 13 submissions closed yesterday and will now be reviewed and analysed.

Industry and sector discussions were hosted earlier this week in relation Cromwell’s Eye to the Future master plan, which includes sections on land development, construction, primary production and business.

People can still have their say in relation to the master plan when a public survey is launched online in the coming weeks.

The News approached River Terrace Developments for comment, but it did not respond.

Additional reporting: The ODT