Bulldozers move in on another new Ladies Mile subdivision

by Peter Newport - Jul 19, 2021

Construction works were well underway this morning on a new Ladies Miles subdivision that had previously been declined by QLDC.

Resource consent has been granted without any public notification.

The prime land right next to the Stalker Road roundabout will be the site of 27 new houses generating a forecast extra 213 vehicles per day according to the developers’ own consultants.

Koko Ridge (formerly Laurel Hills) sits right next to the Stalker Road roundabout - a key focal point for daily gridlock

The original proposal was under the banner of Laurel Hills Ltd with a plan for 156 houses on the 10 hectare stretch of Ladies Mile.  Now resource consent has been granted to the same company to build new houses on the same site – but with lower density – and a name change.

Laurel Hills Ltd name change records. Source: NZ Companies Register.

Laurel Hills Ltd became Koko Ridge Ltd on the 5th of May 2021.

The extensive resource consent documents make exhaustive reference to roading within the subdivision but there is hardly a mention of the main road traffic on Ladies Mile SH6. There is though plenty of reference to the new subdivision aligning with QLDC's District Plan.

Stalker Road traffic - at a standstill most days

Mayor Jim Boult has made numerous references over the past few months to the fact that any further development of Ladies Mile will be opposed by him until the area's chronic traffic problems are sorted out. Resource Management Act lawyers have pointed out to Crux that the Mayor may in fact have little if any ability to influence whether Ladies Mile development takes place or not. In fact a public meeting earlier this year was told in no uncertain terms that the council does not believe it can prevent Ladies Mile development.

Traffic will enter and leave the new subdivision from a new intersection on Stalker Road – the uphill exit from Shotover Country that is frequently gridlocked during the morning rush hour.

A new intersection will be built just 50 metres from the Stalker Road/Ladies Mile roundabout.

Crux submitted a number of questions to QLDC today regarding the Laurel Hills project.

QLDC's Ladies Mile "Process to Date" explanation

Laurel Hills. Questions to QLDC from Crux.

  • This subdivision was turned down by QLDC - why has it now been approved?
  • What has changed?
  • Did the council have the ability to stop this development given universally agreed concerns over gridlock traffic conditions along Ladies Mile?
  • What mitigations are in place re: traffic?
  • What are the details of the new subdivision and where can we find them in e-docs etc? Is the subdivision consented - if so, why was it non-notified?

This is the full response received from QLDC thsi afternoon (July 19):

“In 2018 Laurel Hills Limited made an Expression of Interest to Council for a 156 residential lot development under the Special Housing Area (SHA) legislation that existed at the time. This request was declined by Council. Subsequently, Laurel Hills Limited made a different application for a subdivision consent for 26 residential allotments (RM190553). This application under the Resource Management Act obtained non-notified approval in August 2020. This second application was based on a change in zoning that resulted through the Proposed District Plan process. This change provided for this type and level of development in this area.”

Development work has already felled a large number of trees on the site.

“We would also refer you to our response to your previous queries regarding development along Ladies Mile, specifically Council’s masterplan for the area which was recently published for community feedback.”

“To reiterate: “A key consideration was a view that if the Council did not attempt to do some Master Planning, that the area would still be developed over time and that the effects could well be much worse. The development of a masterplan was in response to community frustration about developer-led development resulting in disconnected sub-divisions without sufficient consideration for transport, local facilities, among others.”

Source: QLDC.

The subdivision work now underway follows another subdivision, Kawarau Heights, that is now being built even prior to resource consent being granted.




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