Residents of Te Koutu celebrate resource consent decision

Resource consent into a proposed 100-room hotel complex in the Te Koutu area has been declined and residents are celebrating the decision.

At least 126 objections were submitted at a two day hearing regarding the proposed hotel earlier this month in Rotorua. The majority of the opposition was from local Te Koutu residents.

Chinese owners Alex Zhaoyang Lu and Xiaobing Yang had purchased the land located on Bennett’s road which was once Māori owned. 

The owners then applied for resource consent under the Rotorua Lakes Council to build a four star hotel on the land which was expected to cater up to 208 guests and employ 20 staff.  

According to the commissioners' summary which oversaw the resource consent, "despite the endeavours of the applicant to create a development that would be attractive, there are simply too many factors that count against the application being granted."

Natalie Richards who led discussions within the community of Te Koutu regarding the hotel says, they were surprised when they first learned of the plans for a hotel.

She says, "there had been no consultation with Iwi, Māori and Marae of which there are five in and around the site.”

Owners Alex Zhaoyang Lu and Xiaobing Yang have refused to comment.