QLDC signals trouble ahead for Ladies Mile development

by Peter Newport - Oct 22, 2021

In a council report to be voted on next week, QLDC staff say that private Ladies Mile developers are already threatening to push ahead with land use applications if the council tries to stall official plans.

The tension lies between QLDC trying to inflict some sort of community led order on Ladies Mile development via an official masterplan, while developers would rather take their chances with the Resource Management Act (RMA).

The RMA is more likely to permit relatively ambitious development plans than a council masterplan. The council masterplan is more likely to take traffic congestion into account to a greater degree than the RMA.

The new council document acknowledges that the current masterplan does not enjoy good levels of community support but argues that it can be made stronger, especially around delaying development until improved traffic measures are actually in place.

Community opposition is not limited to traffic issues though, with many residents arguing that Ladies Mile is unsuitable for further development because of the high level of existing development and the rural nature of surrounding, undeveloped land. 

Council plans to manage traffic flow are focussed on residents leaving their cars at home, an argument that many people, especially trade workers and builders, see as being impractical. The two lane Shotover Bridge presents something of an insoluble choke point regardless of measures put in place to the north of the bridge along Ladies Mile. 

The report says that extra funding on top of the current $1.4 million budget will be needed to re-write sections of the masterplan to make development conditional on traffic measures being in place.

Elected councillors will get two choices to vote on at next Thursday’s full council meeting.

  • Option 1: Continue with a Council-led approach, adopt the Masterplan, continue to work through best options for the funding and implementation of transport Interventions and stormwater.
  • Option 2: Stop any further work on a Council-led Master Plan and manage any future development proposals through the Resource Management Act Proposed District Plan and resource consent processes.

Council staff say that Option 1 is the preferred option. It will be up to councillors next Thursday to either support or oppose that preference.

Read the full QLDC report here.

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