Ladies Mile approval: 2,400 high density units, Howards Drive traffic lights

Mar 14, 2024

An independent hearings panel shared its recommendation yesterday that Queenstown Lakes District Council’s (QLDC) Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile Variation be approved by the Minister for the Environment.

QLDC General Manager Planning & Development, David Wallace was pleased with the news, noting that Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile would ensure Council can provide for future housing demand in the district by enabling approximately 2,400 new residential units at higher densities.

“The draft recommendation report acknowledges housing remains one of the biggest challenges faced in the Queenstown Lakes, and more land is required to accommodate increased density and more affordable housing typologies,” said Mr Wallace.

“This decision identifies that affordability is causing significant housing pressure for short-term migrant and permanent workers alike, residents and families, and based on the evidence received, Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile Variation is the correct planning response to help address this issue.”

As part of the report, the independent hearings panel has recommended a range of changes to the Variation’s plan provisions, ranging from requiring a minimum density of 40 units per net hectare (for medium and higher density) over the Zone, and removing parking maximums.

This will require higher density development than other zones in the Queenstown Lakes District and ensure efficient use of the land. No standalone housing will be provided for in the Zone.

Additional staging of infrastructure has also been added to ensure the development will be integrated with transport infrastructure, including signals at the intersection of Howards Drive and State Highway 6 and pedestrian and cycle crossings over both roads.

The recommendation follows notification of Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile Variation in April 2023, which proposed to introduce a new Special Purpose Zone to the Proposed District Plan (PDP) and amendments to several PDP chapters.

These changes would implement the Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile Masterplan adopted by Council on 30 June 2022 to make Ladies Mile one of the most liveable areas in Queenstown.

The new Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile Zone would also provide a range of open spaces and community facilities, support commercial activities through a new town centre, and focus on providing active and public transport infrastructure to support a significant shift in how people get around the Whakatipu Basin.

Mr Wallace added the Variation was one way in which Council could help to address Queenstown’s pressing housing needs, and in a way that reflects the diversity of residents needed to support economic growth without impacting negatively on the environment.

125 submitters raised over 1,003 submission points to help shape the Variation put before the independent hearings panel, with hearings held on the matter in November and December 2023.

Council and submitters will now be able to identify and correct minor or technical errors or omissions in the draft recommendation before a final recommendation is issued to Minister, Penny Simmonds.

Previously, the government approved an application by QLDC to streamline the planning process at Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile, meaning the proposed variation can be progressed as swiftly as possible whilst still providing ample opportunity for community consultation.

More information on the Te Pūtahi Ladies Mile Variation including the Draft Recommendation Report can be found here:

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