Residents of a Queenstown hillside suburb are raising serious concerns over plans for a massive housing complex.
Fernhill residents claim the high-end 110-unit development will spoil their suburb's character, worsen traffic problems, strain infrastructure and possibly block views.
Developers describe 'Jade Lake' as "the largest residential project in downtown Queenstown''.
In fact, it is on 2.2 hectares of terraced land between the lower and upper reaches of Wynyard Crescent, Fernhill.
It takes in a 1.52ha parcel which sold earlier this year for $3.2 million.
Local property manager Min Yang yesterday confirmed he is developing the site with a Singaporean friend.
Their Mandarin language website, Jadelake.co.nz, reveals the developer has teamed up with China's no.1 real estate agency, Lianjia.com.
But Yang, in an emailed statement, said: "We haven't started selling it.
"We're still in the early stages of the design work and haven't yet made a resource consent application.
"It would be premature to talk about the details of what's proposed because they may change as the layout evolves and is refined.''
Yang is in discussions with Queenstown's council.
"We are in touch with the council and have had meetings with them so that we can ensure we take their particular concerns into account in the design work.
"We'll only lodge the application once we're confident that all environmental effects have been identified and addressed.''
Mr Yang said he is not aware of neighbours' concerns.
Several Wynyard Cres residents, however, are appalled by the development plans.
Brian Marquand, who has lived there since 1980, said: "To have a complex like this go in amongst a big group of residential houses is just not on.
"The infrastructure in Fernhill along that area is at its max now - they're always repairing water pipes and the road.''
He is concerned that traffic will be added to Wynyard Cres, already jammed with parked cars, and thinks views could be lost.
And he points to a major creek down the middle of the site, where a novel 'Bridge House' is planned.
"This creek has flooded in the past,'' he said.
Helga Coolman, who has lived in the same house for 21 years with her husband Ed, notes the only access is off a corner of Wynyard Cres.
"We had to redesign our house as we weren't allowed to come out on that corner,'' Mrs Coolman said.
"Fernhill will never be the same - all the neighbours are up in arms.''
Other unhappy neighbours include Sheila Chappell, who calls the plans "absolutely gross'', and Spike Wademan.
"We're going to turn [Fernhill] into a full-blown resort for the rich and infamous SUV drivers,'' artist Mr Wademan said.
"I personally can't see it happening. It's too big, it's in the wrong place and the infrastructure is going to have to be huge.''
Neighbours are also concerned the complex does not appear to have adequate parking, but Yang says there is more than enough.
- Mountain Scene