Plans for a privately-funded tennis academy have caused a rift between Queenstown residents amid concerns it would have little community value and ruin the site’s rural character.
Bridesdale Farm Developments Ltd has applied for resource consent to use its land for a 1ha tennis facility south of the Bridesdale Farm subdivision, near Lake Hayes, to be run by the Winton Tennis Academy.
Lake Hayes Estate residents said the proposed development would have a “detrimental impact on residents”, instead of providing for them, and would only add to traffic and parking problems in the area.
Queenstown Lakes District Council Parks and Reserves stated it would “degrade the landscape character and diminish the ability of the recreation reserves to fulfil their purpose”.
The academy would include two tennis courts covered by a lightweight structure, built up to 11.7m above the present ground level, and six outdoor courts.
A 2m-tall landscaped embankment and informal seating would surround the courts, with car parking facilities also in the pipeline.
In its submission opposing the plans, the Lake Hayes Estate and Shotover Country Community Association stated the development’s nature and scale was “considered inappropriate for the proposed location”.
The group cited ongoing discussions with the QLDC about potential plans for the Widgeon Pl reserve to benefit the community.
Tessa Payze, of Bathans Ln, said the proposed development “sets a dangerous precedent for commercial development using recreational reserves and community spaces”.
Critics also argued the size of the development and the covered courts would breach building height restrictions in the zone.
A total of 24 submitters had opposed the plans and 10 submissions were made in support as the Otago Daily Times went to print yesterday.
Queenstown Tennis Club also backed the proposals in a letter as part of Bridesdale’s resource consent application.
The developer previously called for a 16.8ha section of its land and two neighbouring council-owned reserves to be rezoned for “active sports and recreation” as part of the QLDC’s proposed district plan (PDP).
Rezoning the land from “informal recreation” would allow it to be used for organised sports activities that require special facilities.
Bridesdale representatives told a PDP hearing panel in September there was a need for more community recreational spaces in the resort.
The company’s own design control guidelines state the “stunning landscape of Bridesdale Farm is deserving of protection”.
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