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Millbrook Resort starts consultation process for development

Millbrook Resort starts public consultation process for new developments

Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort has started on a public consultation process for a proposal to develop 66 hectares of adjacent land.

In November last year the Overseas Investment Office approved Millbrook’s purchase of the former Dalgleish Farm land on Millbrook’s western boundary.

Millbrook is now working with the Queenstown Lakes District Council to review the District Plan as it applies to Millbrook Resort. This will include amending the District Plan zoning of the new site from Rural General to Millbrook Resort Zone in order to expand its offering to a 36-hole golf course, while also reviewing how the District Plan applies to existing parts of the resort.

Any member of the public with an interest in the project or in any other potential changes to zoning is invited to one of three ‘drop-in’ sessions to be held on February 12 and 13 from 1pm to 3pm, and on Saturday February 14 from9 to 11am at Millbrook’s Kobe Restaurant.

Millbrook Property and Development Manager Ben O’Malley will be available to explain the proposal and answer any questions at the sessions. Immediate neighbours will be consulted with separately, but they and anyone else are welcome to attend.

Mr O’Malley said that Millbrook’s outline structure plan was still in draft form.

“Once consultation feedback has been assessed we can firm up the proposal. At the drop-in sessions we’ll be able to explain the reasons for the project, the design evolution story and the proposed structure plan,” he said.

“That plan shows what might go where in terms of an additional nine golf holes, potential fairway dwellings and a new landscape protection activity area to support significant areas that will remain undeveloped and be retained as open space.

“The council has a firm programme that it’s working to for its wider District Plan review of which Millbrook Resort Zone is a part, so we’re working alongside them with this process.

“However it’s still very early days in a public process that could take 18 months to three years before any plan change is given the green light. That would be followed by earthworks, construction and course ‘grow-in’ time.”

Mr O’Malley said Tourism NZ’s working group Golf Tourism New Zealand (GTNZ) had identified significant growth opportunities for high-yielding golf tourism in New Zealand, and particularly the Queenstown Lakes area.

In supporting Millbrook’s plan to add nine holes to its golf offering, GTNZ Executive Director Ryan Brandeburg said there was an opportunity to grow the value of the inbound golf tourism market from the current level of $145 million to $223 million over an initial three-year time frame.

GTNZ has described Queenstown as the most mature golf destination within New Zealand, but it’s become clear that the lack of capacity in the area is a threat to realizing significant growth opportunities.

“For this to be achieved, there would need to be development and improvement of new and existing facilities which have a significant long-term impact on the quality of the ‘golf trails’ of New Zealand,” said Mr Brandeburg.

Millbrook currently has 27 holes of golf and all the associated maintenance costs, but in practice can only operate a single 18-hole course on any given day.

“By adding an additional nine holes of golf there’s a marginal increase in maintenance costs but a 100% increase in golf supply, with two 18-hole courses able to be played simultaneously,” said Mr O’Malley.

“Introducing a 36-hole format at Millbrook would be seen as a ‘game changer’ which will ensure the long term viability of the business.”

Mr O’Malley said golf development on its own was not “commercially viable” and required associated construction costs to be subsidised by sustainable property development. The Millbrook Resort Zone currently provides for up to 450 homes and the draft proposal does not anticipate any increase in that number.

“The Dalgleish farm is an uneconomic farming unit, and has not been sustainably farmed for some time. Unless developed it’s at risk of falling to wilding weed and rabbit infestation, but the proposed development ensures it would have an on-going land and ecological management plan,” he said.

“Millbrook has a proven track record as a responsible developer. We’ve engaged several experts in landscape management and ecology to ensure that the proposed development is based on best practice.

“We’re also one of the largest employers in the region. This new development will ensure that Millbrook Resort can continue to make a very significant contribution to the local and national economy.”

ENDS


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