The Lake Hawea Community Association is preparing for a David-and-Goliath battle to curb urban sprawl between Lake Hawea and Hawea Flat.
Chairwoman Cherilyn Walthew said the association would take legal advice and seek independent expert witnesses for three Environment Court appeals relating to the proposed Queenstown Lakes district plan.
Development companies Universal Developments Hawea Ltd, Streat Developments Ltd and Quartz Commercial Group Ltd have asked the Environment Court to reject the council’s new planning rules affecting Lake Hawea.
The association is also deciding whether to comment on a fourth appeal from Ka Runaka regarding sites significant to iwi.
“It really is a David-and-Goliath event,” Ms Walthew said of the court cases expected later this year.
According to Census NZ, Lake Hawea’s population was 1200 in 2018, up from about 500 in 2006.
Ms Walthew said there did not appear to be any assistance for community associations to appeal district plans so the association would use its own funds.
Main issues included residential intensification versus urban sprawl, town infrastructure and who would pay for it, and affordable housing, she said.
“The reality is, [new housing] is not affordable for the people who live here. It is still outside their budget .. We will end up with a broken community.”
Ray White Real Estate figures reveal in May the company sold eight Lake Hawea residential properties for between $735,000 and $1.2million.
Universal Developments has a 480-lot special housing area (Longview) under way at Lake Hawea.
The council rejected Universal Development’s district plan submission to extend the southern edge of the urban growth boundary to rural and rural residential land on Cemetery and Domain roads.
Streat Developments is also appealing the decision not to extend the urban growth boundary.
That developer has been gradually releasing Hawea sections and has resource consent to develop 36 more rural residential lots over four stages.
Quartz Commercial Group wants changes to the low density suburban residential zone at Cappell Ave and opposes the prohibition of an informal airport within the visitor accommodation subzone.
Ka Runaka represents four Otago iwi groups who have rakatiratanga (chieftainship) and kaitiakitaka (guardianship) over land in the Queenstown Lakes district.
The iwi appeal addresses sustainable management of resources, relationships between iwi and ancestral lands, and the most appropriate way to exercise council functions in relation to wahi tupuna (significant sites to iwi).
Ka Runaka specifically seeks input into the scale, location and design of zone activities and seeks a council policy that would increase iwi input, as an affected party, to district-wide developments.
Universal Developments director Lane Hocking said the Environment Court appeal would be a mediated attempt to find common ground between all parties.
The extent of future development at Longview depended on mediation.
Universal Developments supported the concentration of urban development in a few specific locations to avoid broader urban sprawl, he said.
“We are confident Longview is an important contributor in helping to solve affordability issues.”
There are now 48 appeals against stage three of the Queenstown Lakes district plan.
Appellants are tackling a wide range of new zone rules around the district, including the rural visitor zone, Arthur’s Point zone, the general industrial zone, Wahi Tupuna, the Lake Hawea Settlement zone, the Three Parks commercial and business zones, design guidelines, variations and plan maps.