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Wānaka’s Mt Iron Junction Development Gets Green Light

Proposed new Wānaka development Mt Iron Junction is a step closer to fruition with the recent granting of consent by the Environment Court.

Mt Iron Junction is a mixed-use development on 6ha of land at the base of Mt Iron bordered by State Highways 6 and 84.

Mt Iron Junction Ltd, backed by long-term local Steve Schikker and Peter Green, applied to Queenstown Lakes District Council for a resource consent for the development in November 2018. Consent was initially declined by a panel of three commissioners. Their summation was that although the development plan was solutions-based, it was outside the scope of the underlying zone of Rural General.

Through the Environment Court mediation process involving QLDC planning and landscape assessment staff, interested parties and Mt Iron Junction Ltd, a compromise was reached in late 2020. The amended plan was submitted to the Environment Court and signed off on Monday, April 19.

The amended plan consists of a service station, Wānaka’s first dedicated workers’ accommodation village and 13 two- and three- bedroomed terrace houses. Mt Iron Junction Ltd can see great benefit to the community with these consented components of the development but is naturally disappointed not to include the motel, childcare centre, mini-golf course and retail area which were part of the original application, Schikker says.

The process has been a roller-coaster ride, he adds. The initial highs of purchasing the land, getting high-level support for the mixed-use development and receiving overwhelming local support through the submission process, were counter balanced by the lows of being declined consent, the huge financial costs of five years of consultation and the challenges of navigating the RMA.

“The granting of consent has definitely made it all worthwhile,” Schikker says. “We were very pleased with the mediation process and the progressive approach from the QLDC. Further planning and detailed design can now take place and the team is looking forward to getting this much anticipated development off the ground.”

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