Lakeview decision makers set date for Queenstown hearing

by Kim Bowden - Oct 13, 2022

The panel tasked with deciding whether or not to press go on the billon-dollar Lakeview development has set a date for a hearing in Queenstown.

The Environmental Protection Authority-appointed trio want to talk with some of the experts being put forth by the developer.

The panel’s own appointed urban design expert has twice said the developer’s tall towers don’t belong in central Queenstown.

But the developer’s experts disagree, especially since they’ve made some tweaks to design elements to help the buildings blend in.

Now the panel says it needs to hear more from those experts in order to reach its decision.

The developer had requested a “direct discussion” with the panel members as opposed to a hearing, but that offer’s been declined by the decision makers, who say “the applicant is not the only interested party”.

In the panel’s latest communication on the fast-tracked consent application chair Phil Page says the panel’s expecting further documents from the applicant in the coming week or so.

The sticking points for the panel remain the “design, height and massing of the buildings” as well as exactly how much space will be allocated for retail activity and where it will be.

If the supplied information isn’t enough to help the panel reach its decision, a hearing is planned for November 8, in Queenstown.

But that hearing will be “tightly limited in scope”, Mr Page says.

Meanwhile, the developer is questioning how much should ride on a district plan that doesn’t allow for buildings as tall as those proposed for Lakeview. 

In its latest correspondence to the panel the developer says there’s been “a seismic shift in the planning context” which the decision makers must consider.

Lakeview’s proposed apartments will be the tallest buildings in town, and about double currently permitted heights.

But the developer says the QLDC’s district plan will need revising to acknowledge the new National Policy Statement on Urban Development. In fact, it says the council’s behind where it should be in getting this done.

While the Lakeview buildings are over the district plan height control, they may well be consistent with the policy direction of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, the developer says.

A spokesperson for the EPA says any hearing held in Queenstown will be open to the public and media to attend. 

 

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