A zone change will need to be granted by the Central Otago District Council (CODC) to facilitate the development of the proposed Wooing Tree Estate, which is pegged for the vineyard’s 26-hectare site between SH6, SH8B and Shortcut Road. While Wooing Tree Vineyard will remain at the site, the new development could include various community amenities, tourist attractions, retail, accommodation and prime housing lots.
Wooing Tree partners, Geoff and Jane Bews and Steve and Thea Farquharson, believe the change would allow a more fitting development for the growing town than is currently provided for under the existing zoning.
Designed to accommodate the regional population growth and further enhance Cromwell’s appeal as a premium wine and tourism destination, Wooing Tree Vineyard co-owner Geoff Bews says the plan they have developed is a step towards growing Cromwell in a way that will support its tourism, wine and residential interests.
“Tourism development is key for Cromwell and this project offers the opportunity for boutique visitor accommodation and activities, as well as community amenities for locals,” he says. “We want to support the growth of Cromwell by creating a desirable living and lifestyle space, featuring sections of various sizes and an exclusive business area, all the while retaining the feeling of a vineyard village. Our plans provide for far more attractive and suitable growth than the large lot rural residential sections currently allowed.”
Site concepts have been drawn up by resource management and landscape planning experts Vivian & Espie. Ten per cent of the proposed development is allocated to commercial activity, while the remaining 90 per cent is reserved for grape vines, residential lots and open spaces. The iconic Wooing Tree, which the vineyard is famously named after, will take pride of place in a public green area. The development would also provide access to Cromwell’s town centre and complement the new cycle trail which is proposed to link Cromwell to Clyde, Wanaka and Queenstown.
Wooing Tree Vineyard will seek to change the zoning to a mix of low- to high-density residential and light commercial. The partners invite informal public feedback on the proposed development before lodging the application with the CODC in the new year.
“Our vision is to create a community asset that locals will be proud of, as well as a destination that visitors will enjoy and want to return to,” Bews says. “It’s also of paramount importance for us to ensure that the same care and attention of which we instill in our wine is applied to the development of our land.”
Proposed infrastructure changes include a new roundabout at the intersection of SH8B and Barry Ave, which would serve as the main entry and exit route to Wooing Tree Estate. A secondary access point along Shortcut Road is also outlined.
“Throughout the entire process of planning and potential development, it will be business as usual for Wooing Tree Vineyard,” Bews adds. “We will continue to operate from our premises at 64 Shortcut Road and remain committed to making superb Central Otago wine.”