Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort has won resource consent for the $50 million development of the neighbouring 67ha Dalgleish Farm into an addition to its golfcourse, interspersed with 42 sections for high-end homes.
Image above: Millbrook’s Ben O’Malley, project manager Stuart Anderson & senior construction manager Darin Paki Paki (both of Signal Management Group) on the new development site.
It’s taken owner Millbrook Holdings (NZ) Ltd 4 years of planning, appeals, hearings & zone changes through the Queenstown Lakes District Council. The company is 90.6% owned by the Ishii family of Tokyo, who have been involved in the resort since its development began in 1987. Individual residential sites are privately owned & freehold.
The multi-award-winning 200ha resort will add 9 golf holes to Millbrook’s 27-hole course, enabling it to operate 2 full 18-hole courses. The resort’s residential limit will remain at 450 homes.
Initial site clearance is underway and work has almost been completed under a separate consent to shift the Arrow irrigation pipe to make way for the development.
Groundworks include a raft of ecological & landscape enhancements, and the first land titles should be issued in late 2020. Once the new golfcourse is constructed & “grown in”, it should be playable by 2021.
Millbrook property & development director Ben O’Malley said the net was cast “far & wide” for project tendering, and the main earthworks contract went to Grant Hood Contracting Ltd, of Ashburton.
Experienced local turf specialist company TIC Projects Ltd (Geoff & Belinda Andrew), which developed the resort’s Coronet 9 course, has been awarded the main golfcourse construction project & a golfcourse irrigation installation contract.
Millbrook is still working through detailed design on works such as roading, reticulated services & the resort’s distinctive schist stone walls.
In the initial earthworks phase, 500,000m of material will be moved within the site. A “zero cut to fill” balance means all work will be carried out with material contained within the farm area, and topsoil stripped & stored before being re-spread once earthworks are complete.
Irrigation race connection & storage lake among upgrades
Mr O’Malley said Millbrook had been working alongside the Friends of Lake Hayes & the Otago Regional Council to support their initiative to discharge off-peak water from the Arrow River irrigation race to Mill Stream, which runs through Millbrook into Lake Hayes: “They believe this will help enhance the water quality of Lake Hayes and we have the means to provide them the link between the Arrow Irrigation Co Ltd pipe & Mill Stream.”
The regional council is part-way through a plan change process that will see a minimum flow placed on the Arrow River, from which Millbrook currently sources its golf irrigation water via the irrigation company.
The minimum flow process would pose a risk to Millbrook’s golf operations, as its sand-based tees & greens, installed to meet international PGA specifications, require daily watering: ‘”To guard against this risk we’re also constructing a 30 million litre water storage lake on the farm land.”
Mr O’Malley said the new 36-hole format at Millbrook had been described as a game changer for the resort, effectively adding 100% golf capacity with 2 18-hole courses that can be operated simultaneously.
Members’ course will change daily
He said the growing number of Millbrook Country Club members would be able to play an ever-changing private members’ course on a daily basis, with another 18 holes available for tourists & locals.
It’s also good news for the long-term future of the NZ Open, currently hosted at Millbrook in conjunction with Sir Michael Hills’ The Hills golfcourse.
The Open has long planned to move to a 3-course model, similar to international Dunhill Links and AT&T events, and having 2 courses available at Millbrook would enable this goal to be achieved.
The new land also lends itself to the development of 2 discretely & geographically separated residential neighbourhoods.
The large upper plateau contains 24 sites boasting elevated panoramic views over fairways & pastoral lands to the wider basin. The lower slopes are home to a further 18 sites with north-facing outlooks over an enhanced Mill Stream & the last of the new golf holes. Mr O’Malley expected most of the sites to sell for over $1 million each.
Parts of Mill Stream will be widened to create larger waterways & enhanced wetlands. The new development will retain a rural, agrarian style, with over 20ha of working farmland retained for grazing and retention of a historic woolshed.
The original 1860s farmhouse will also stay on the land, with some sympathetic additions.
Link: Millbrook Resort
Attribution: Company releases, website.