The Queenstown housing crisis has received a long-term reprieve, with a plan change allowing for a large housing subdivision signed off by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.
At a council meeting, held in Queenstown on Wednesday, councillors adopted commissioner recommendations to rezone 520 hectares to allow for higher density at Hanley Downs, formally called Henley Downs, next to the exclusive Jack’s Point resort.
Jack’s Point and Hanley Downs were zoned for a resort 10 years ago, containing about 1300 lifestyle houses, a golf course, restaurant and village.
Hanley Downs Australian owner, RCL Queenstown, plans to build between 1279 and 2164 houses at a start price of below $500,000.
Its lawyer Mike Holm argued approving the plan would help alleviate Queenstown’s critical shortage of affordable housing.
Hanley Downs had “by far the largest potential of anywhere in the Wakatipu Basin to provide a range of much needed housing” and was far ahead of any other residential or special housing area proposal.
Over 30 submissions were received on the plan, including a number of Jack’s Point home owners who were worried about their views being built out or said the reason they had bought there was because it was low density.
A report by council district plan manger Blair Devlin and planning and development general manager Tony Avery presented to the council supported the recommendations and said “the plan change has been through a thorough process”.
Experienced commissioners have “reached a robust decision” and there were no disadvantages of accepting the commissioners recommendations.
The housing would help meet the “current and future needs of good quality local infrastructure”.