1000-section proposal questioned

April 24, 2018















Lake Hawea township – showing bare land in the top half of the photograph beyond pine trees, where a special housing area is proposed. Photo: Mark Price

Prominent Upper Clutha developer Allan Dippie has weighed in on the debate over a proposal for a special housing area (SHA) on the outskirts of the Lake Hawea township.

The proposal by developer Lane Hocking, owner of Universal Development, was the subject of a public meeting on Saturday morning attended by 140 residents.

Mr Dippie has been developing sections in the town since 2004 and he questioned the need for the proposal for up to 1000 sections almost directly across Cemetery Rd from his Timsfield subdivision.

Cemetery Rd is considered to be the town’s southern boundary.Mr Dippie said he had been “very careful” to time development with demand.

While Lake Hawea had been growing rapidly, “we can see the demand curve dropping off”.

He expected to have sufficient sections until 2030. “We’re not opposed to, once there is a certain trigger point, and it’s a long, long way away yet, of crossing that boundary. It might not be south. It could be somewhere else. The community has got to decide that.”

He also suggested the proposed development would put a strain on the town’s water and sewerage infrastructure.

Mr Hocking responded by pointing out the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s 10-year plan included $12 million of funding to pipe Lake Hawea sewage to the council’s Project Pure treatment plant next to Wanaka Airport.

The council was also budgeting for improvements to the water supply.

“So we are reasonably confident what we are proposing south of the road will actually be covered, from an infrastructure perspective, from the council, as at today.”

SHAs are intended to speed up house building and encourage affordable housing.

While the council is not required to consult the wider community when considering SHA proposals, councillors and staff attending Saturday’s meeting said the public would be consulted.

The founders of the Keep Hawea Beautiful group opposed to the SHA, Carmen Howell and Tim Ryan, in a joint delivery to the meeting, called for a “2050 plan to guide all future growth for the Hawea region”.

And they called for a moratorium on all large-scale development consents until a plan had been created.

Lesley Burdon was one of those who pointed out previous plans developed between the council and the Lake Hawea community showed Cemetery Rd as the town boundary.

“I think it would be really sad to deviate too far from those plans.”

Lake Hawea Community Association chairman Paul Cunningham said the policy at the moment was that Cemetery Rd was the boundary and “not to go over the road until we are full”.

Other speakers at the meeting gave examples of the need for more affordable housing in Lake Hawea but believed the council should consider means other than giving consent to Mr Hocking’s proposal.

The proposal is due to go to the council within the next month.