Public submissions have opened on a proposal to construct a new 18-hole championship golf course and 96 houses, near Arrowtown.

Hogans Gully Farming Ltd, owned by Sir John Davies’ company Trojan Holdings, is seeking subdivision and land use consent to transform the 158.8ha site beside The Hills golf club, bordered by State Highway 6, McDonnell Rd and Hogans Gully Rd.

The application says the company has an unconditional sale and purchase contract for a 24.99ha lot — the balance is almost exclusively owned by Sir John and family.

In April the Otago Daily Times reported the project would cost about $30million.

The course was designed by former golf pro Greg Turner, of Arrowtown, who first started working on the project in 2007, and Baxter Design Group.

The application said the land on which it was proposed to build  was used for farming and had a “unique landform character” with dramatic and rugged terrain.

“The land has the ability to provide a different type of golf offering than the existing courses; the golf course will complement and expand the existing inventory of high quality golf courses of international standing in the Queenstown area, to contribute to meeting the high and growing demand for golf tourism locally and nationally.”

Hogans Gully had set an “aspirational goal” to become the second course in New Zealand certified under the Audubon Co-operative Sanctuary Programme for Golf, administered by Audubon International.

Cape Kidnappers, in Hawke’s Bay, is the only New Zealand course with the certification, which relates to the enhancement of natural areas and wildlife habitats provided by golf courses and minimisation of “harmful impacts” of golf operations.

The process would take up to three years to complete once the course opened.

Ongoing reporting and recertification was also required.The application said internationally about 2% of golf courses — 857 in total — were certified.

“For the purpose of the project, two key individuals in Cape Kidnappers’ certification process have been engaged to implement the necessary steps at the new Hogan’s Gully facility.”

The company also planned 91 residential units to be built in “clusters” around the site.

They would be individually owned and could either be used as a permanent or temporary residence, or be leased to a visitor accommodation management company affiliated with the golf course for short-term renting.

“For this reason, consent is sought for the units to be able to be used for visitor accommodation purposes for 365 nights per year.”

Additionally, five separate duplex villas were planned along the western slopes of the 18th hole for “short-stay golfers’ accommodation”.

Other aspects of the development included a clubhouse, planned near the first hole tee and the 18th green; a gym, sauna, steam room and change facilities; and a covered driving range building, also with car parking.

Public submissions close on Thursday, September 20.


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