Mt Iron development declined to retain site’s rural character


The developer behind a proposed mixed-use development at the base of Mt Iron in Wanaka says he is disappointed for the company and the community that resource consent was declined.

Mt Iron Junction Ltd owner Stephen Schikker had applied to the Queenstown Lakes District council to beallowed to build a service station, workers’ accommodation,terrace housing, a child care centre and a mini golf facility on a 5.8ha triangular allotment bounded by SH84 to the south and SH6 to the east.

The site is zoned rural general and classified as an ‘‘other rural landscape’’; counsel for the applicant had argued it was now more urban or semi-urban in character.
In their judgement handed down on Tuesday, commissioners Ian Munro (chairman), Jane Taylor and Jane Sinclair said the proposed development was likely to be ‘‘jarring’’ and was of a scale and intensity of use that was ‘‘significantly greater than any existing activity close by (that which can be seen from the site)’’.

All commissioners agreed the non-complying activity would have had adverse effects more than minor on the landscape; on visual and character aspects; on the network of Wanaka’s commercial centres; and that the cumulative effects of the proposal would draw a large volume of visitors into a predominantly rural setting.

Mr Schikker said while the commissioners stated the application was ‘‘a solutions-based application proposal and had many positive effects’’, the underlying rural general zone appeared to have been too restrictive to allow them to give consent.
The Mt Iron Junction directors were considering their options, including whether to lodge an appeal in the Environment Court.

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