It’s back to the drawing board for Metlifecare, after its proposal to build a large retirement village in Red Beach was refused resource consent by independent commissioners.
The plans for the 5ha site on the former Peninsula Golf Course (65 Hibiscus Coast Highway) included the construction of a six storey apartment building, a two storey apartment complex, two storey care centre and 28 standalone villas as well as eight retail units, a café/pavilion and 501 car parking spaces.
Residents argued that the proposal was of a bulk and scale that is out of keeping with a residential area and in their decision, handed down on November 16, the commissioners agreed.
In the decision, commissioners Jenny Hudson, Gavin Lister and Jan Heijs said that Metlifecare’s proposal was declined because it would “result in a development (particularly the six storey apartment building) which is of a bulk and scale that is inappropriate for the locality (taking account of the planned residential/landscape character)”.
“It will significantly alter the planned and anticipated residential suburban character of the Peninsula Golf Course Master Plan/Red Beach Precinct area, and is out of character with the existing established suburban residential environment in the immediate locality of the subject site,” the decision says.
The commissioners also noted that the development would result in adverse effects on residential amenity values.
A group was set up by Red Beach residents to fight the proposed development. Two of its members, Troy and Sarah Harold, say they’re happy with the decision.
“All the submissions presented in opposition at the hearing reflect a general consensus that people will not tolerate these massive developments taking over the Coast with little regard for the current residents, Sarah says.
She says the golf club sold the land, the plan was for one-level low density housing around the boundary, and mid-high density single-double level housing throughout the rest of the site. “Anything more than this should be challenged.”
Metlifecare chief executive Glen Sowry says the company remains committed to the Red Beach site, which he says the commissioners agreed is appropriate for a retirement village.
He says the company will appeal the decision in order to expedite formal engagement with the Council and affected parties “so that we can work on an alternative or adjusted scheme”.