An application for consent for a subdivision on the site of the William Hill winery in Alexandra should be declined, as it would have significant adverse environmental effects, the Central Otago District Council's planning consultant says.

David Whitney has recommended refusing consent for the proposal from Molyneux Lifestyle Village Ltd under which 20 lifestyle blocks would be subdivided from the 16.5ha William Hill property, which has frontages on Dunstan Rd and Waldron Rd.

The winery still operates there but the vineyard is defunct. Another part of the site is dryland pasture and has never been used as a vineyard.

The site is in the rural resource area and subject to the rural residential notation, which means average lot size is not permitted to be less than 2ha.


The proposed subdivision would have 17 lots of between 3737sq m and 5705 sq m, as well as another of 7766sq m, which would contain the existing William Hill winery, and one each of 3470sq m and 4977sq m, which would contain existing dwellings. Other lots would be held as common lots or vested in council as road.

Land use consent was being sought because the existing buildings and those to be built would not comply with separation and yard rules in the Central Otago District Plan, Mr Whitney said.

He said the subdivision would produce a ''denser form of subdivision and future development'' than could be anticipated in that part of the rural resource area that was subject to the rural residential notation.

Future development would be ''clearly visible'' from Dunstan Rd; from the recreation reserve that included the Otago Central Rail Trail; from the Alexandra Golf Course, which was also a recreation reserve; from Waldron Rd; and from some opposing submitters' properties.

Forty-one submissions were received on the application.

Most submitters supported the proposal because of the shortage of sections in the Alexandra-Clyde area. But some were concerned water drawn from the on-site bore would affect the aquifer that supplies other bores in the region. Several were also worried about the effect on-site wastewater disposal would have on neighbours' bores.

Mr Whitney said the subdivision and land activity would have a significant adverse effect in terms of open space, landscape, natural character and amenity values.

He was also concerned about extra pedestrians and cyclists from the site to the rail trail, across Dunstan Rd, which as a 100kmh speed limit.

He said it would have a ''positive effect'' from adding sections for residential development, given the current shortage of these. However, 6.5ha of council land near the Molyneux netball courts was about to be subdivided into 55-63 sections, and another 4ha of council land could later be released for residential subdivision. The benefit in terms of providing sections should be considered ''in light'' of that.

He was also concerned the subdivision would create a ''significant precedent'' for other land subject to the rural residential notation.

A commissioner's hearing panel for the application will be held in Alexandra on December 6-7.