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Frankton Flats Plan Change Revisions

Media Release from Porter Group Limited
October 10 2008

Frankton Flats Plan Change Revisions

The Frankton Flats Plan Change hearing is due to resume on Monday (October 13), with eight new reports from the Queenstown Lakes District Council to be considered over two days at the Copthorne Hotel.

The hearing, before a panel of three hearing commissioners led by Commissioner John Matthews, adjourned on July 22 so Council experts could respond to evidence presented by submitters, following the announcement that the Five Mile development had gone into receivership.

Porter Group director Alastair Porter said the QLDC’s most recent reports were a “timely and significant step” in the right direction with regard to future use of this sensitive land area.

He said it was pleasing to see reductions in height and potential density scaled down, with planning provisions for the Five Mile area now focusing on village development and more open space.

He said the ongoing expansion of Queenstown’s two major town centres, the downtown CBD and its regional centre Remarkables Park, were more than adequately providing for the town’s retail needs.

“Remarkables Park Town Centre attracted some two million visitors in the past year and future plans for cost-effective large format retail expansion proposals have received strong support from the public and retailers,” he said.

He confirmed plans for other public amenity projects at Remarkables Park, including a hospital, were proceeding.

Mr Porter said it was important that any party seeking to purchase or refinance the Five Mile land in the future was aware that the previous owner’s concepts for a third Queenstown town centre on this land were neither realistic nor viable, and if pursued would result in years of on-going planning debate.

Mr Porter said it was worth noting that both the aviation experts giving evidence to the hearing (including the Council's expert) recommended that airport noise contours should first be resolved. The Queenstown Airport Corporation has not yet provided its new noise contours to the hearing.

Mr Porter said that whatever the outcome of the hearing, given the number of submitters with diverse views, he expected it would be difficult for all submitters to be satisfied. “As a result it is probably inevitable some appeals will be lodged which will make final future zoning uncertain for quite some time,” he said.

However, he said that Porter Group’s Queenstown subsidiary, a major submitter, had made significant effort to get expert advice to enable them to work with Council, and others, to progress the zoning as soon as possible. In this regard he said they would be willing to discuss options with any future purchaser or financier of Five Mile.


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